In Nationwide Address, Trump To Unveil "New Path Forward" On Afghanistan Tomorrow

Tyler Durden's picture

With the anti-neocon Steve Bannon out, and nobody left in Trump's inner circle to halt the simmering push for war in Aghanistan, North Korea, the Middle East and virtually everywhere else courtesy of Generals Kelly and McMaster, this morning Reuters reported, quoting Defense Secretary Mattis that Trump has a made a decision on the United States' strategy for Afghanistan after a "sufficiently rigorous" review process.

However, Mattis did not provide details on when the White House would make an announcement or what the decision was on Afghanistan, where fighting still rages more than 15 years after U.S. forces invaded and overthrew a Taliban government. The Defense Secretary said he is satisfied with how the administration formulated its new Afghanistan war strategy. But he refused to talk about the new policy until it was disclosed by Trump.

"I am very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous and did not go in with a pre-set position," Mattis told reporters traveling with him aboard a military aircraft to Jordan. "The president has made a decision. As he said, he wants to be the one to announce it to the American people."

As reported earlier in the year, soon after taking office in January the Trump administration began a review of U.S. policy on Afghanistan, which has expanded into a broader South Asia review. After Trump met with his national security aides on Friday to review an array of options for Afghan strategy, the White House said no decision had been made on whether he would commit more troops to America's longest war. However, Trump tweeted on Saturday: "many decisions made, including on Afghanistan".

U.S. officials have told Reuters that the president was expected to be briefed on options ranging from a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to a modest increase. Out bet is on the latter, and scrap the "modest" part: after all, if there was ever a time Trump need a "war diversion" it is now.

Luckily, we won't have long to wait: according to a statement issued moments ago by the White House, "Trump will address our Nation's troops and the American people tomorrow night at 9:00 pm (EDT) from Fort Meyer in Arlington, VA, to provide an update on the path forward for America's engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia."

Meanwhile, signaling that the U.S. military expects its mission to continue, Bloomberg reports that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Sunday hailed the launch of the Afghan Army's new special operations corps, declaring that "we are with you and we will stay with you."

Gen. John Nicholson's exhortation of continued support for the Afghans suggested the Pentagon may have won its argument that America's military must stay engaged in the conflict in order to insure terrorists don't once again threaten the U.S. from safe havens in Afghanistan.


Nicholson, speaking prior to the White House announcement, said the commandos and a plan to double the size of the Afghan's special operations forces are critical to winning the war. "I assure you we are with you in this fight. We are with you and we will stay with you," he said during a ceremony at Camp Morehead, a training base for Afghan commandos southeast of Kabul.

Furthermore, as Bloomberg notes, the Pentagon was awaiting a final announcement by Trump on a proposal to send nearly 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. The added forces would increase training and advising of the Afghan forces and bolster counterterrorism operations against the Taliban and an Islamic State group affiliate trying to gain a foothold in the country.

According to a senior U.S. military officer in Kabul, increasing the number of American troops would allow the military to quickly send additional advisers or airstrike support to two simultaneous operations. Right now, the official said, they can only do so for one. The officer said it would allow the U.S. to send fighter aircraft, refueling aircraft and surveillance aircraft to multiple locations for missions.


The officer was not authorized to discuss the details publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity. Afghan military commanders have been clear that they want and expect continued U.S. military help.


Pulling out American forces "would be a total failure," Col. Abdul Mahfuz, the Afghan intelligence agency chief for Qarahbagh, north of Kabul, said Saturday. And he said that substituting paid contractors for U.S. troops would be a formula for continuing the war, rather than completing it.

As such, anyone harboring any hope that with two generals whispering strategy in Trump's ear, and with anti-interventionist Bannon out of the picture, that Trump will announce an accelerated withdrawal of US troops from the war-battered country, should probably not hold their breath. Meanwhile, keep a close eye on Mattis, Kelly and McMaster: once Trump announces the inevitable boost in military activity in Afghanistan first (and soon, everywhere else), it will be the three generals who - together with Goldman Sachs when it comes to domestic policy - are now officially in control of the U.S. executive branch.

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ET's picture

Strategic retreat from what is essentially a trap would be the smart thing to do.

There is no prize to be won in Afghanistan.

Conserve our military power for real strategic threats.

holgerdanske's picture

there is too much money being made on the drugs grown there

greenskeeper carl's picture

Moar wasted lives and money. But the spice (opium) must flow. Such a waste. Pretty much giving up on trump at this point.

Occident Mortal's picture

Who gives a shit about Afghanistan?

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Trump To Unveil New Afghanistan Strategy In National Address On Monday

My response: It is good that we have a path forward. I certainly hope it includes a quick and speedy exit of US forces from AFGHANISTAN ASAP.

Bes's picture

anything less than immediate withdrawl is

a gift to the MIC



knukles's picture

So for some reason this sounds familiar, what?
Domestic policy in tatters (Well, that's what everybody's saying, true or not) so why not start a war?
Drone some infant formula buildings, some hospitals and schools and we're good to go!

HowdyDoody's picture

One thing is certain - he won't declare victory and bring the troops home.


Yukon Cornholius's picture

Just when you think Destro and Cobra Commander have been vanquished, they rear their ugly heads again. Go Joe!

Giant Meteor's picture

Graveyard of Empires ,

While we await further word from DJT, I find this video again worthy of consideration  ..

Gordon Duff and Snorster's take on "who is fighting who" , and why ..

I expect not much has, nor will, ...  change,

SafelyGraze's picture

the us must intervene with all of its military might because of the afghanis gassing their own children

and the koreanis gassing their own children

also the venezuelans gassing their own children

re: the syrians gassing their own children, the us must intervene with all of its military might

in iraq, it is necessary that the us intervene with all of its military might beacuse of the iraqis gassing their own children

they have also pulled down one of their own statues


Son of Thor'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…

matermaker's picture

The Persian Empire left it alone and called it Baktria.  Alexander the great couldn't conquer it.  Rome couldn't Conquer it. India couldn't.  The Brits couldn't.  The Russians couldn't.  Even war mongering generals realize that the only way to conquer that part of the world is through money and corruption, and we are low on the prior.  We will back down.  Not even Pakistan has an iota of control over the western part of their nation.  Give it to the spooks like ole Zbignew on a moutain top to use it as a wild card in the belly of the Russ and Indochina.  Because if we don't, the others in the reigon will. It is a region that lies in the center of Russia, China, Iran and Indo-Pak.  We will concentrate our influence in metro-fort-areas and leave the new wild east to itself.  The hanging judge Parker in Fort Smith on the edge of indian territory comes to mind.  But even then it is folly.  the Persians will prevail there.  You just can't project power into such a place.  It doesn't stick.  It wasn't Afghans we blamed for 9-11.  It was Saudis hiding there.

Giant Meteor's picture

"absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."

I believe the events leading up to, and the subsequent actions, are quite well known ..

matermaker's picture

We bullied Japan into attacking us much like we are doing to NORK, now.  Sanctions, energy embargos, flat out provocations.  Yes, Roosevelt knew about Pearl Harbor and yes there was a reason only our battleships were there.  The Hindu-Kush... the rooftop of the World is different.  The generals who are in power cut their teeth on Vietnam.  The cental east is ten times worse than that.  They truly are in the stone ages.  The only way to conquer less than total and complete irradiacation[kind of like what we did to the natives here] Is move somebody else in.  Who would we move in?

The Cooler King's picture

Trump is gonna announce that he's replacing Bannon, on his advisory staff, with "KANANGA/MR. BIG" as the new Ambassador to Afghanistan.


Oh, that, & that Sessions busted 'Cheech & Chong' this past weekend for "inhaling"

overbet's picture

The prospects of Trump being the president we voted for continue to dwindle. If you ever told me I would agree with Michelle O I would have laughed in your face, however.....


"We are feeling what not having hope feels like" Michelle Obama

mkkby's picture

Trump to announce doing the same thing as Clinton/Obama, after spending a year telling us how nuts that was.

In a sane world, we would exit Nato and bring every service person home.

Father ¢hristmas's picture

I'm saying.

This some ol bullshit.

WillyGroper's picture

the native people?

did i win?

ET's picture

Generals don't like to lose a war, no matter how pointless it is.

General McMaster wrote a book a couple of decades ago on the Vietnam War and how it was lost before it began. Maybe he will have similar thoughts.

Or maybe not.

FreedomWriter's picture

Actually a phased or immediate troop withdrawal is the most likely announcement. Trump's generals all know Afghanistan was a losing proposition from the beginning. So does anyone else who has studied military history.

The only reason the US invaded Afghanistan in the first place was because Dickhead Cheesey, Rumbottle, and other Neocons saw a fabulous business opportunity. Shrub just did what he was told. All are civilians I might add. They should still be tried for war crimes.

I hope Trump knocks it out of the park and forces Soros to create pro-war pressure groups. Hopefully that will make him an official enemy of the state with a price on his head. I am sure his unpaid Antifa workers wll happily go after the bounty.

shankster's picture

The drug cartels and the CIA thats about it.

Pie rre's picture

90% of the receipients of the goodies.

Billy the Poet's picture

If Trump turns decidedly militaristic he will hear from his base. Certainly he'll hear from me,. The message will be, "Can you afford to lose my support at this point?"

chunga's picture

I have never spoken to a single solitary person that has the slightest idea what this "war" in Afghanistan is about.

Billy the Poet's picture

I'm just about as cynical as they come but that pertinent question had slipped my mind entirely. It's amazing how we become conditioned to all this shit.

chunga's picture

It's gonna be a tough sell for him if he's authorizing moar troops, bombs. If that happens my little flicker of hope is probably going to blow right out and no amount of bombastic tweets about fake news will change that.

What that will tell me is all the talk about the importance of public opinion and support from the base really means nothing. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks.

Billy the Poet's picture

I'll stipulate to everything you said except this:

It doesn't matter what anybody thinks.

What you think and what you do is of supreme importance. There are moments in life when you look back and ask, "What could I have done to avoid this?" Don't put the future you in that position. Think now.

chunga's picture

This is something I've thought about a lot because I feel an obligation to do something. I just don't know what that is. I outside trying to finish this door thinking what's the reason for troops in Afdhanistan, the drugs come to mind, and the Taliban is over there doing bad things, reveling in knock down statues ironically among them. 

I doubt very much the lines at the WH (or anywhere) are lit up with people who want to ramp war over there, but it looks like they might be doing it anyways and have been for a long time.

The peaceful things to do look like dead ends and taking some sort of stand without sufficient numbers also seems like a tough road to hoe, LaVoy tried that and the black hats ambushed him and shot him in the back. I just don't know.

Billy the Poet's picture

Just to ease the tension here's a (perhaps fanciful) way that this all plays out OK. Trump gets himself tossed out of office and Pence takes over. But what happens in 2018 and 2020? Do all of us who rejected mainstream candidates of either party suddenly come back into the fold or is that the opportunity for the Ron Paul/Tea Party faction to gain major traction and take over the party or create a formidable new party of our own?

Now, remember, I'm an anarchist but I do have fond feelings for the nation I grew up in and I'm just thinking out loud.

Good luck to one and all and stay away from the fucking pods.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Billy,I don't think we 're going to make it til 20018,never mind 2020. This AAZ empire will fall in its own footprint,like the twin towers.

I think he is going to announce more troops,more war there. They need a war and they need to stop OBOR.

If he does the opposit,I will be really astonished

Billy the Poet's picture

The anarchist in me find that kind of talk sexy. In a non-gay way, of course.

veritas semper vinces's picture


But ,you see ,we can eliminate the gay-thing. I'm a woman

new game's picture

we ramp this war thingy up a notch or two. any o0ther thoughts are just wish/thinky/ hopey bullshit.

check the cog dis at keyboard, plez...

Billy the Poet's picture

That's the only way to maintain anarchy. No rulers does not mean no rules. In fact, the presence of rulers just elevates a group of people to a level where they can break the rules with impunity.

BigJim's picture

And just how do you know Billy's not a woman???

#DidUjustAssumeGender? #Triggered

chunga's picture

Like somebody says above we don't even know what his "path forward" is gonna be yet so we can wait until Monday to blast or impeach him. What I'd like to do is adopt Lovey's strict policy of ignoring fake news and things she can't change but that takes discipline, something I'm resigned to not having.

We're in the middle of nowhere with moar cows than people and certainly no fake riots, so maybe it's selfish but wid did that on purpose. I should have had this damn door trim job done yesterday but I busy reading and commenting on fake news. Now is a good time to pick up my tools, wash up and put a burger on the grill, drink a few beers and watch a football game I taped yesterday because I just got stung in the neck by a bunch of yellow jackets.

caesium's picture

Nobody understands gold as an investment strategy but it won't stop people buying. Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires but Americans are exceptional so this time it's different. Buy gold.





veritas semper vinces's picture

You obviously don't have CIA as your conversation buddies.They would explain it to you.

Mikeyyy's picture

Lose your support?  I call bullshit.  He could walk up and grab ýour (wife, girlfriend, sister) by the pussy and you'd still vote for him in 2020

Billy the Poet's picture

What is your goal here? Are you suggesting that I shouldn't call the White House in condemnation of militarism if that's what Trump intends? I've done it before.

Even if Trump turns out to be as bad as Obama then Trump voters can still be better than Obama voters because at least we'll attempt to hold our candidate's feet to the fire.

I joined thousands of others in anti-war marches during the Bush I and Bush II administrations but there were no protests for me to join during the Clinton and Obama years.

Fondest memory: Marching with Cindy Sheehan through Oakland and leading the crowd in singing You're a Grand Old Flag at Soldiers and Sailors Hall.  Folks just stared at me until I got to the "forever in peace may you wave" part and threw up the V sign. Then they all joined in and we had a great time. Then someone called out, "Let's do My Country 'Tis of Thee.


veritas semper vinces's picture

Agree . If protest doesn't count(obviously),if voting doesn't count(soon to be obvious to the last hopeful people),what is there left?

Billy the Poet's picture

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." -- John F. Kennedy

Giant Meteor's picture

 ".... but there were no protests for me to join during the Clinton and Obama years."

A salient point, that cannot be understated ...

Giant Meteor pronounced to a few folks in his company, no son of mine will die in a trumped up war in Iraq (this was of course shortly after 9/11) , wherein there was much hoorah, git some, flag waving, never forget, slogans, and wherein it was considered in particularly bad form, "un-patriotic" even , up to and including "threatening," to voice any form of open dissent against government actions in the matter ..

Good for you Billy the Poet, for standing up ..

It should have been another "tell" when Americans were told, by then POTUS, go out and SHOP ! We got this ...

And damn if they didn't

15 Fucking years later ..


Billy the Poet's picture

Ever see these guys?


Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping

Giant Meteor's picture

Never did, until now ..

Thank's !


Mikeyyy's picture

I notice you didn't dispute my contention, you merely obfuscated the original point by going on your antiwar rant.  And my"goal" is quite simple and exactly as stated.  To call out all the Trump supporters who claim objectivity, but will never be so. 

No matter what Trump does, or says, you will always end up supporting him.  You'll always find a way to claim the other guy is worse and that will be your rationalization.  We practically have a military junta running the country, Kelly, McMaster,  Mattis et  al, and Trump " might lose your support..."


Give me a break.

Billy the Poet's picture

Thanks for telling me my point of view.

What am I thinking now?