Trump considering Afghanistan troop surge

The Trump administration is considering a Pentagon plan to send as many as 5,000 additional troops to join about 9,800 U.S. military personnel remaining in Afghanistan, where a 15-year war effort has failed to suppress the Taliban insurgency.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 after the the Taliban refused to extradite Osama bin Laden for his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

President Obama increased the U.S. troop presence to nearly 100,000 before beginning a phased withdrawal in 2012, the fewer American invaders in Afghanistan .

News of the impending surge emerged since the beginning of the month, when a suicide car bomber struck a U.S. military convoy near the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital, killing at least eight Afghan civilians, wounding three U.S. service members and 25 Afghan civilians in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reportedly supports a U.S. troop increase to suppress increased violence, as the Taliban has taken control of roughly 40% of the country since Afghan forces took responsibility for security in January 2015, but some young people dislike the idea.

Fariha Khoshiwal, a 22-year-old agriculture student at Kabul University, said more U.S. troops will only prolong the conflict, adding that it is mostly civilians who suffer casualties.

“We don’t have a clear definition of the enemy,” said Fazel Nazim, a 25-year-old law student, who believes more troops won’t help Afghanistan without a coherent strategy for ending the war.

Trump, who was recently described as a “low information voter who became president,” has rarely spoken about the longest conflict in U.S. history, but the deployment of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs, indicates that the White House has given broad authority to use force to military commanders in Afghanistan.

It is unlikely that the president understands anything about this complex quagmire or the strikingly resilient organizations al Qaeda, Taliban and the so-called Islamic State fighting against American invaders throughout the Middle East.

The last king of Afghanistan ruled from November 1933 until he was deposed on July 1973, by his first cousin Mohammed Zahir Shah, who declared himself as president until his assassination in 1978 as a result of the Saur Revolution led by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).

Once in power, the PDPA embarked upon a program of rapid modernization centered on separation of Mosque and State, eradication of illiteracy (which at the time stood at 90%), land reform, emancipation of women, and abolition of such feudal practices as usury, bride price and forced marriage.

The government stressed education for both women and men with an ambitious literacy campaign, men were encouraged to cut off their beards and the minimum age of marriage was raised. Sharia Law was abolished, unifying the tribally and ethnically divided population against the communist government and ushering in the advent of Islamist participation in Afghan politics.

By April 1979 large parts of the country were in open rebellion, which culminated in a Soviet invasion.

The Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan from December 1979 until May 1989, supporting a secular communist government that held on to power until 1992. During this time the American CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence helped establish the mujahideen, a band of fanatic religious fighters including Osama bin Laden.

The fall of that regime led to civil wars that raged from 1996 to 2001, but in September 1996, the Taliban, with military support by Pakistan and financial support from Saudi Arabia, seized Kabul and founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan while still fighting a network of warlords .

American occupation provides strong incentives for Muslims to gravitate toward the pan-Islamic ideology that has created a violent backlash against western nations and it has failed to quell strife among Sunni and Shi’a sects that have been fighting among themselves for centuries.

 

 

 

 

 


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