Pentagon To Send 4,000 Troops To Afghanistan In Trump's Largest Deployment Yet

Tyler Durden's picture

Two days after Trump ceded unilateral authority on Afghan troop deployments to the Department of Defense, the Pentagon wasted on time and according to AP, the Pentagon will send 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan to support existing forces and in hopes of breaking a stalemate in a war that has now been passed on to a third U.S. President. The deployment will be the largest of American manpower under Donald Trump’s young presidency.

According to AP, the decision by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as early as next week, and was prompted by "the rising threat posed by Islamic State extremists, evidenced in a rash of deadly attacks in the capital city of Kabul, has only fueled calls for a stronger U.S. presence, as have several recent American combat deaths." Asked for comment, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said, “No decisions have been made.”

Trump’s decision Tuesday to give Mattis authority to set force levels in Afghanistan mirrored similar powers he handed over earlier this year for U.S. fights in Iraq and Syria. The change was made public hours after Sen. John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Republican chairman, blasted Mattis for the administration’s failure to present an overarching strategy for Afghanistan. McCain said the U.S. is “not winning” in Afghanistan, and Mattis agreed.


The finality of the decision isn’t entirely clear. While Trump has handed over the troop level decision-making, there is nothing preventing him from taking it back.


Mattis has repeatedly stressed that increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan would take place within a broader, long-term strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan. In congressional testimony this week, he said the strategy will take into account regional influences, such as Pakistan’s role as a Taliban sanctuary. Regional powers Iran, India and China, which all have political stakes in the fate of Afghanistan, also must be considered.

The bulk of the additional troops will train and advise Afghan forces, according to the administration official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss details of the decision publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. A smaller number would be assigned to counterterror operations against the Taliban and IS, the official said.

From the Afghan side, reactions were split: Daulat Waziri, spokesman for Afghanistan’s defense ministry was reluctant to comment on specifics Friday but said the Afghan government supports the U.S. decision to send more troops. “The United States knows we are in the fight against terrorism, ” he said. “We want to finish this war in Afghanistan with the help of the NATO alliance.”

However, another Afghan lawmaker, Nasrullah Sadeqizada, however, was skeptical about additional troops and cautioned that the troop surge should be coordinated with the Afghan government and should not be done unilaterally by the United States. “The security situation continues to deteriorate in Afghanistan and the foreign troops who are here are not making it better,” he said.

The gamble to send even more troops in Afghanistan is a big one for the president who inherited America’s longest conflict with no clear endpoint or a defined strategy for American success, though U.S. troop levels are far lower than they were under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. In 2009, Obama authorized a surge of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan, bringing the total there to more than 100,000, before drawing down over the rest of his presidency.

Trump, who barely spoke about Afghanistan as a candidate or president, concentrating instead on crushing the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, may be underestimating the potential risk he faces by sending more troops in harms way. His predecessors both had hoped to win the war. Bush scored a quick success, helping allied militant groups oust the Taliban shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, before seeing the gains slip away as America’s focus shifted to the Iraq war. In refocusing attention on Afghanistan, Obama eliminated much of the country’s al-Qaida network and authorized the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, but failed to snuff out the Taliban’s rebellion.

Obama set a cap a year ago of 8,400 troops in Afghanistan after slowing the pace of what he hoped would be a U.S. withdrawal. Nevertheless, there are at least another 2,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan not included in the official count. These include forces that are technically considered temporary even if they’ve been in the war zone for months.

That said, Mattis’ deployment of more troops will be far smaller than Obama’s.  While the new troops could raise fears of mission creep, Mattis told lawmakers this week he didn’t envision returning to the force levels of 2010-11, when Obama thought he could pressure the Taliban into peace talks. Despite heavy losses, the Taliban fought on and in recent months appear to be gaining traction.

Meanwhile, this is the kind of news that awaits Trump: there have been almost 2,400 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001. Three U.S. soldiers were killed and another was wounded in eastern Afghanistan this weekend in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

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4shzl's picture

Another victory for the MIC.

Looney's picture


Does Trump even know about this deployment? Didn’t he “delegate” this shit to the Pentagoons?  ;-)


Jim Sampson's picture

So...  will Eric or Donald Jr. be leading these fine men into battle?

Fake Trump's picture

No way. They will need boots by Gucci. 

SofaPapa's picture

What amazes me is that - even with the personal financial necessity angle - there are any remaining 18-30 year olds willing to sign up for this shit.  What do they think their time in the military is going to look like?

Drimble Wedge's picture

Keep those poppy fields safe, AT ALL COSTS!


Nothing is more honorable than to DIE FOR your opium addicted country.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

Maybe rather than sending real army warriors, Trump should draft a bunch of SJWs to head over and dole out hugs and skittles. The current program of bombs and genocide clearly isn't working.

Shlomo Scheckelstein's picture

We need more people hooked on opioids.

Ghost of Porky's picture

The Graveyard of Empires is lovely this time of year.

QE4MeASAP's picture

How long have US troops been there?  What are we going to accomplish in the next 5 years, since we haven't accomplished anything yet, except the spice flowing.

PrayingMantis's picture


... is it poppy harvest time again?



Drimble Wedge's picture

We need moar <cotton> pickin' soul-jers dammit!

fleur de lis's picture

That's probably what this is all about.

After all, we are only in Afghanistan to protect the world's biggest industry.

And isn't it interesting how the opioid death rate is shooting into hyperspace?

Are the narcotics shareholders trying to fire sale the whole racket before it goes bust or gets taken over by some other power?

So just how many DC Swamp bankbooks are directly connected to the narcotics business?

Enough to get a massive troop deployment, that's for sure.




AllOfGood's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

greenskeeper carl's picture

Accomplish? Not a goddamn thing. I don't see how they still say things like 'a broader, long term strategy for victory' and 'bringing stability to Afghanistan' with a straight face. Ever more amazing is that the country still goes along with it. What the hell, Donald?

BeansMcGreens's picture

Its to keep the economy going. In the area  where I live almost 100% of home purchases are by the military.

And they all drive new large vehicles.

And they fill the schools with their children, who are put on a pedestal because of the big bucks the gov. sends the schools. Fifty percent off tickets to the football game, show military id.

Never yet has there been a farmer appreciation night in the seventeen years my daughter has been going.

War, what is it good for, absolutly everything if you got a county/country to run.

farflungstar's picture

We can't leave and allow some other country to take over the drug racket and rake in those huge profits, now can we?

Drimble Wedge's picture

well, u see, the Chinese have figured out all they need to do is to manipulate bitcoin prices.


We're still stuck in the 'boots on the ground' paradigm, or else DC would turn back in to the original kind of swamp that it began as.

Shlomo Scheckelstein's picture

NATO is a great vessel for our operations worldwide.

Drimble Wedge's picture

NATO is a great vessel for (((their))) operations worldwide.



fixed it

peopledontwanttruth's picture

They want/need bigger USA MIC presence for eastern Iran to feel the pressure

HRClinton's picture

Protecting them poppy killing fields and denying the Chinese and Iranians the Silk Road South is a Win-Win.


(like my new avatar and profile, bitchez?)

holgerdanske's picture

On the money there boy!!

Drugs, that is all there is to it!


Teletubby's picture

    I can only speak for my family, and my son, who's currently deployed to the Syrian/Iraq border: We don't do it for politics, or even patriotism primarily, but for what we get personally from serving, and being a part of something much bigger then ourselves, honor, discipline, conviction, courage. Although I suppose it started with my grandfather after arriving from Germany, declaring it's what we'd do, for the country that took us in. My father, his brother, myself, my brother, my sister, my daughter, and now my son.

 That said, we care little about the politics of it all, may not agree with our deployments, but those aren't decisions made by us, and we wouldn't follow unlawful orders. When the clowns in DC unleash the dogs of war, please try to remember not to blame the dogs for the destruction unleashed.

lesterbegood's picture

Actually I do blame the "dogs" of war for the destruction they have inflicted upon humanity. They are the ones who take "orders" from clearly evil demented "leaders" and manifest these orders into physical reality much to the detriment of humanity. "Just following orders or some purported law" is never an excuse for immoral behaivor.

You speak of honor and courage? There is no honor or courage in fighting for evil. You speak of acting lawfully? The entire "War on/of Terror" is unlawful.

It appears that you have abrogated your moral responsibility as a member of the human family, and chose to follow the orders of evil, immoral beings who are clearly waging war upon all humanity.

holgerdanske's picture

I understand where you come from.

But with all due respect, you have been brainwashed by an education and a life in a country used to place itself in front of anyone and anything else.

There is no way the whole world can exist like you do. It is that simple.

You are creating 10 enemies for each person you kill or maim outside of your country.

Don't sacrifice your family for this political game!

Seriously, and with all respect!

BullyBearish's picture

Parents and family members,


Do EVERYTING you can to keep your children OUT of the military.  The once-proud military is no longer "protecting" us, it has become a private army for the money printers with two supreme goals: cause the most destruction of war materials to enrich the mic and KEEP ALL CONFLICTS GOING! 

If they don't get the volunteer cannon fodder then the only way to continue their goals is to compel service, forced slavery which they know they could not get past the public without the mother of all false flags...

They can print money to pay for their wars, but they cannot print your kids...

Juggernaut x2's picture

The last war that wasn't fought for US empirical interests was the War of 1812

Sanity Bear's picture

> The last war that wasn't fought for US empirical interests was the War of 1812

fought for US empirical interests

US empirical interests

empirical interests


oh gods please make it stop

DomoJojo's picture

Neices and nephews joined because they thought their only options were college or military. Neither parents nor kids wanted to go into debt.  They do get good benefits, considering today's economic environment, but still, I wouldn't recommend given today's leaders. 

SofaPapa's picture

I don't mean to sound insensitive, and I can see the motivation and that it is rational.

That said, what you are describing is an oblique version of the word mercenary.  History does not look kindly on mercenary armies.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Two days ago,Jewmerica sent helicopters to airlift the leaders,best fighters  of ISIS and transported them to Afghanistan.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Another victory for the MIC."

Yup, we are now at war in Yemen, Somalia,Iraq, Phillipines, and Syria.

But at least now we will finish up that mess in Afghanistan......

The Ram's picture

This is sad.  I wonder if Trump knows that this kind of thing is why people voted for him.  Some of us were hoping to get a President that was focused on 'real issues'!  Oh well, looks like it will not change until the dollar tanks enough that military and contractors cannot be 'paid' in anything worthwhile.   Of course, at that point, the term 'pay' for any of us will not have relevance.  A civilization heading off the cliff before our eyes!  I suppose the Romans at least had the advantage of not watching their civilization evaporate in real time.  

unsafe-space-time's picture

Making pederasty and goat rape great again. Good thing we have a homo military to join the fun.

markar's picture

How fitting..Where empires go to die

serotonindumptruck's picture


Make Afghanistan Great Again

Deep In Vocal Euphoria's picture

"We need to stop meddling in the middle east" 


quote Donald "the clown boy" Trump a.k.a Donnie Goy..............


i'm so sick of it all......just fucking nuke the whole shit....asteroid hit in the water or radioactive waste traveling in the ready to die...

papa song's picture

All by design, I'm afraid.  Once we're all ready to die, it makes an unmanageable task suddenly seem downright reasonable.

Dont give in to the shit.

tmosley's picture

Finish wars rather than starting them. This will become a pattern that even the most urine-soaked of peanutz will come to understand eventually.

Aw, who am I kidding? They'll never get it.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Two days ago,Jewmerica sent helicopters to airlift the leaders,best fighters  of ISIS and transported them to Afghanistan.

land_of_the_few's picture

In that case the Taliban shall off them all in the end since they are foreigners, forewarned is forearmed! 

zedwood's picture

Gotta keep that Poppy crop safe.  One of the big 3 - GOD:  Guns, Oil, Drugs

Squid Viscous's picture


hashtag: not winning for 17 years

QE4MeASAP's picture

17 years and how much $$$ spent.  Plus lives, and voters, wasted.  Plus the votes of the never-born children of those who died.

EuroPox's picture

Must be expecting another bumper crop of poppies and they clearly need to be protected.

unplugged's picture

wait - you mean the mission is not to destroy their heroin industry ?


EuroPox's picture

Hell no!  That is what the Taliban was trying to do before 2002 and why they had to go.