US General Wants 20,000 Additional Ground Troops Sent To Afghanistan

The US is definitely going to be sending more ground troops to Afghanistan soon, but, as's Jason Ditz notes, the exact number is yet to be determined, with the Pentagon today backing away from media reports yesterday that they’d settled on a figure of 4,000 more troops, saying no final decisions have been made yet on numbers.

That might suggest they’re leaning toward an even bigger number, with influential retired Gen. Jack Keane suggesting that the US needed to send up to 20,000 more ground troops if they wanted to win the war, saying he believed the 4,000 figure was not likely to change the direction of the war.

Defense Secretary James Mattis conceded in testimony to the Senate this week that the US is “not winning” in Afghanistan, and President Trump has since given him unilateral authority to decide on troop levels and strategy. Mattis was seen as leaning toward the high end of escalation proposals.

It’s not clear whether that means the 4,000 to 5,000 figures being bandied about by Pentagon officials, however, or if proposals by former officials for far bigger escalations, like Keane’s today, might have some traction. Keane explicitly faulted President Obama for removing the 100,000 troops the US had in Afghanistan at one point and leaving only around 8,000 insisting that “we have to put that back if they’re going to be effective.”

The Afghan War hasn’t exactly been popular, however, and while the roughly 8,500 troops there presently mostly fly under the radar, moves to double or triple the number of US troops in the country could prove very controversial, particularly since, 16 years into the war, the US seems further than ever from something resembling victory.

So, as TheAntiMedia's Darius Shahtahmasebi explains... The US will never win the war in Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis told Congress on Tuesday that the United States is not winning the war in Afghanistan, Reuters reports.

The United States has been formally at war with (or within) Afghanistan since 2001, with little to no tangible progress to show for it. In that context, Mattis’ admission should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.

However, while Mattis spoke the truth about the non-existent success of the war in Afghanistan, he followed up his statement with a dismal “[a]nd we will correct this as soon as possible.”

This proposed correction involves giving Mattis complete authority to determine troop levels in the war-torn country, something President Trump approved on Tuesday. It is believed that Mattis will be looking to send several thousand more American troops to Afghanistan, though the official number has not yet been confirmed.

In a video published by the Washington Post, Mattis was incredibly critical of restrictions imposed during the Obama era, which he believes caused the ongoing failures in Afghanistan.

“I retired from military service three months after sequestration took effect,” Mr. Mattis, a former Marine general, told the House Armed Services Committee. “Four years later, I returned to the department [of defense], and I have been shocked by what I’ve seen about our readiness to fight … No enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of our military than sequestration.”

But here’s what you aren’t being told: the U.S. has been increasing – and decreasing – troop levels by the thousands over the course of the conflict. Still, no victory has emerged despite almost 16 years of war under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Barely even a month into his presidency, Obama approved a significant troop increase of at least 8,000 Marines, as well as 4,000 additional Army troops to Afghanistan (another 5,000 troops were to be deployed at a later date). By November of that year, Obama announced he was planned to send over 30,000 more troops to the war-stricken nation, highlighting a major escalation in the war and bringing the official number of U.S. troops to a whopping 100,000.

As confirmed by Politifact:

“Obama took office with about 34,000 troops. There are now 94,000 troops and closing in on 98,000 troops by summer.”

Although he originally indicated he would wind down the war, as early as 2009 it was reported that at one national security meeting, Obama told his advisors, “I want to take off the table that we’re leaving Afghanistan.” By 2014, he announced that the war was going to last additional two-and-a-half years.

A NATO night raid in February of 2010 conducted in a village in Paktia province, Afghanistan — and exposed by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill — left seven civilians dead, including two pregnant women. As the story reached the media, NATO stated in response that the force entered the compound due to intelligence that confirmed the site was one of “militant activity.” As they were engaged in a firefight with several insurgents, the troops killed the insurgents and discovered that three women had been bound and gagged before being executed. However, a British reporter, Jerome Starkey, had already reported that this was a false narrative upon going to the area to interview witnesses following the incident.

The compound actually belonged to an anti-Taliban policeman trained by the United States. At the time, the family had gathered to celebrate the naming of a newborn son, and the gathering included a prosecutor and a university vice-chancellor – both of whom were related to the policeman.

In order to cover the tracks of their reckless decision to execute unarmed civilians, the American troops used knives to dig out the bullets from the bodies of the pregnant women killed.

Scahill reports:

“Months later, when I sat with the family elder, Hajji Sharabuddin, at his home, his anger seemed only to have hardened. ‘I don’t accept their apology. I would not trade my sons for the whole kingdom of the United States,’ he told me, holding up a picture of his sons. ‘Initially, we were thinking that Americans were the friends of Afghans, but now we think that Americans themselves are terrorists. Americans are our enemy. They bring terror and destruction. Americans not only destroyed my house, they destroyed my family. The Americans unleashed the Special Forces on us. These Special Forces, with the long beards, did cruel, criminal things.’


“‘We call them the American Taliban,’ added Mohammed Tahir, the father of Gulalai, one of the slain women.”

According to Scahill, night raids of this kind take place thousands of times a year in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries we are not even informed about.

The United States’ indiscriminate violence against its own allies on the ground — initiated by Bush and carried on recklessly under Obama — has been inherited by Trump. Barely a week ago, the U.S. killed three Afghan policemen in an air strike. The U.S. is killing its own allies on the ground, and it doesn’t take a military analyst to see that the U.S. is creating more and more enemies in the process.

It is, therefore, no surprise at all – from a logical standpoint – that Afghans who have been trained by the U.S. turn their American-supplied weapons on the American soldiers who prepared them for battle. The latest incident of this kind occurred around the same time as the aforementioned U.S. air strike, which murdered three policemen – but it is not a new or unforeseen issue. These incidents have occurred multiple times in the past.

Anyone who thinks that attempting this already tried and failed Afghanistan strategy over and over again will provide different results needs to prepare for what’s likely to come.

At this rate, the war will never.  If anything, it is just getting started, this time with a Trump-esque tinge of its own. According to Reuters, Mattis also said he will be taking a “regional approach” rather than looking at Afghanistan in isolation.

What could a “regional approach” possibly mean?

As a region, one of the countries bordering Afghanistan is Iran, a long-time adversary of the United States (meanwhile, on another front, the U.S. has reportedly just deployed a long-range rocket launcher to confront Iranian-backed militia in Syria). Someone as experienced as Mattis should know that the United States can never “win” a war in Afghanistan — for every bomb dropped, another “terrorist” pops up out of the rubble. For every anti-Taliban policeman killed, the U.S. loses more and more points with the local population, who cannot conceivably welcome such a terrorizing force.

However, the U.S. can and will continue to exert added pressure on its rival, the Islamic Republic of Iran, by surrounding the country with American troops. The U.S. will almost certainly keep its defense contractors and arms dealers in business by ramping up a war with Afghanistan that has been escalated countless times with not so much as a shred of success.

Mattis also has a similar strategy for fighting ISIS in Syria, yet ISIS fighters appear to be escaping the current conflict in Raqqa unscathed so they can confront Iranian and Syrian troops elsewhere in the country.

As the film adaption of George Orwell’s 1984 observed“The war is not meant to be won – it is meant to be continuous.”


FoggyWorld Sat, 06/17/2017 - 14:37 Permalink

It's now clear why he is called Mad Dog.  Maybe we are being turned into the military arm of the n w o.    We only seem to sell weapons and are "growing" the size of our military by leaps and bounds.   Is this what Trump had in mind one wonders.

el buitre 847328_3527 Sat, 06/17/2017 - 15:55 Permalink

The author was astute enough to notice that there is a long border to the west of Afghanistan with Iran.  I think those troops are being sent to A as a covert deployment against a near future (attempted) invasion of Iran.  Israel, of course, will light the match, and of course the wag the dog USA will follow.  Will get even more interesting if Iran is a card carrying member of the SCO when this takes place.  It's supposed to join up still in 2017.   Would draw Russian in for sure.  While Russia and Iran do not technically share a border, they are only separated by about 100 miles of Azerbaijan on the west coast of the Caspian.  Port to port transit in the Caspian would be a few hours.  Iran has by far the best military in MENA, and would be a very difficult nut to crack by the US military.  If possible at all, would involve tens of thousands of US casualties.  If they use nukes, Russia will surely get involved, and to paraphrase Putin, we can kiss our collective asses adiós.

In reply to by 847328_3527

Sudden Debt 847328_3527 Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:01 Permalink

The first question should be is: IS THIS A WAR? AND IF SO, WHY?And those senators don't need to go... send THEIR SONS AND DAUGHTERS!  It's just another genocide that they want. Also... yet another bigger front... America can't handle these "wars" anymore...It costs 150.000 dollars a month per soldier to send them there... if America would invest that kind of money in Afghanistan, no "terrorist" group would exist.And another country would be developped.or....invest that money in America... I'm sure some regions in America would like to see those kind of investments...

In reply to by 847328_3527

HowdyDoody Sudden Debt Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:12 Permalink

The US will never win against local tribesmen defending their home turf. Take the Houthis for example. They are hardcore - look at this guy.…

A typical Houthi guy, with dish-dahsa and flip flops operating an SMG from a position on a mountain peak. Nothing odd there, until you notice the artificial limb resting on top of the SMG, and the guy is standing on one leg. That is hardcore, carrying an SMG up a mountain into battle when you have a crude articial limb.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

The Ram HowdyDoody Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:56 Permalink

Yep.  Just like the Viet Cong   They did not get to go home.  That's why US troops will always be ineffective.  They want to get through their tours without getting their ass shot off, and return to Mom and the kids on their modern and comfortable military bases.  I hope they come to know that they are just 'profit centers' for banking and industrial institutions.  They need to bannish the idea that they are soldiers and heroes.  That they are not.  When the military chooses to go to war for the common people against the scum in Washington, DC, then they can be restored to being soldiers and patriots and not contractors.

In reply to by HowdyDoody

Jubal Early The Ram Sat, 06/17/2017 - 17:08 Permalink

That is also why Stalin refused to sign the Geneva Convention and treated all Russian soldires captured by the Germans as traitors to communism.  Hitler tried and tried to get Stalin to reciprocate to no avail.  Stalin watched as millions of Russian soldiers were treated the same way he treated the Germans and other Christians.

In reply to by The Ram

Oh regional Indian CultiVader Sat, 06/17/2017 - 22:50 Permalink

Too much willing fodder for that to be ever needed anymore.When your life is pointless and filled with violence, going far away and raping, looting, pillaging and murdering probably sounds like heaven to many disaffected youth in the west.It's not just a western thing. India has the world's third or fourth largest war budget. Buying hand over fist from Israel.... what a joke...Right now, the banksters are winning...the black nobility is winning.... the captured religions (read 501 3C churches who exort their young to go fight for God and Kuntry) are winning.... 

In reply to by CultiVader

MEFOBILLS Endgame Napoleon Sat, 06/17/2017 - 15:54 Permalink

These retards in American government are almost too much to take.  Becoming a General means you should have some brain power, but I'm not seeing any. There are two cheap ways to do it:  1) Build re-education concentration camps like the Nazis did.  Men especially are to be in the camps.  They can go home periodically for good behavior.  Then they graduate once their head is right.  (Yes, I'm aware that many think that Nazi concentration camps were death camps.  You've been punked by the JOOOO.  Hitler copied camp idea from British, who used them during Boer war.  Only, the British actually had high death rates due to poor planning and lack of food.  Hitler also put camp inmates to work, and the same could be done for Afghanis.)2) Use British Raj system.  This segments Afghan population into Zones, and each Zone has an Afghani leader.  This is a parallel pyramid system, where each pyramid is held accountable by some American Raj.  If you are a leader of a region and screw up, you will be held accountable.  Both of these systems are a form of leverage, where you are using Afghani labor, rather than American labor.But, then America has lost its mind, and at the highest levels is populated by people who could not think themselves out of a paper bag. 

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

MEFOBILLS Oh regional Indian Sun, 06/18/2017 - 01:43 Permalink

I would prefer to pull out.Assume is making an ass of you and me.  Don't put words in somebody elses mouth, it is bad form and bad logic.I espoused a military option since the Article was about military means.  The Generals do not consider other options done in history.  My point is that they are idiots.  Note that my military options are cheap, and don't involve mass death.If a country decides to go to war, there are a raft of options. One of the options is to pull out.  Sorry if I didn't explicitly state the obvious.Maybe some butt hurting over the successful Raj system? 

In reply to by Oh regional Indian

Sudden Debt Endgame Napoleon Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:14 Permalink

well... since America wanted to attack the world, debt exploded into the stratosphere... trippled... bankrupted's like a curse...Does anybody know what happened to Russia in the 10 years that followed when communisme imploded?It was hell. The Russian maffia ruled the country, it was a cruel world there.But the west stepped in and helped them rebuild. Who's going to help America?And America has a lot more unpaid bills then Russia had.How many rogue nations will invade America when America implodes?America won't be the place you want to be in!Who's going to stop Mexico from reclaiming south America?Who's going to stop landings from Azia and other south American countries?When America implodes, GET OUT! GET OUT FAST!

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

whatsupdoc FoggyWorld Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:56 Permalink

Hmmm.20,000 sounds like an invasion number.How many in Iraq?So both sides of Iran then ... and an entry point into southern Russia to boot.Time to flood the ME with Iglas.  Starting with poor Yemen.Totally unsustainable.Some Iglas with Hezbolla might gets things moving along rather rapidly.The US is really, really stupid I'm afraid to say.

In reply to by FoggyWorld

Starvation 2017 Francis Marx Sat, 06/17/2017 - 14:56 Permalink

"have the same intelligence."

I understand and agree with your overall point but this part is factually incorrect. The average IQ in the middle east is 85. To put this in perspective 75 is considered mentally challenged in the U.S.. Technically it previously was 85 until people realized that implicated a certain demographic as being 50% retarded and it was decided that was problematic so it was lowered. Heard that last bit anecdotally so if anyone knows any different feel free to correct me.

In reply to by Francis Marx

serotonindumptruck Starvation 2017 Sat, 06/17/2017 - 15:33 Permalink

The median IQ in the Middle East may be due to the marriage practices that are observed there.There is a social and legal taboo in more developed societies that discourage and/or prohibit intermarriage or corruption of bloodlines. In the Mideast, it is not uncommon for first cousins to marry and produce offspring, and the resultant genetic damage would perhaps explain the lower IQ amongst the broader population.

In reply to by Starvation 2017

Endgame Napoleon Starvation 2017 Sat, 06/17/2017 - 15:52 Permalink

You know what, dude. My IQ was WAY higher than that when tested as a child, but I could not major in stuff like engineering. I ended up in jobs making $25k. I am not sure that IQ means much, particularly since it can change. You can fall in IQ "quotient" or add points. On the one hand, who wants to know. On the other hand, who cares, and it is irrelevant, anyway.

A lot of Middle Easterners major in hard areas, like math-related subjects, so they cannot be innately stupid, whatever some psychology major says. It is not inherently low intelligence, but religious fanaticism and factionalism, that causes THEIR problems.

Those are **their** problems.The USA has other problems, few of which are being addressed by our politicians as the Establishment Elites play their little chessboard games, focusing on foreign policy.

Because, they think it ramps up their IQ points by 50 if they can pronounce those lengthy, Middle Eastern names in rapid succession. Not impressed--Establishment Uniparty Elites!

I know you and all of your offspring have high IQs, but people are judged by what they create and actually do in the long run. American middle-class strength is plummeting and has been for decades, while they concern themselves with every nuance around the globe, military-related and otherwise.

In reply to by Starvation 2017

MEFOBILLS Endgame Napoleon Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:08 Permalink

A lot of Middle Easterners major in hard areas, like math-related subjects, so they cannot be innately stupid, whatever some psychology major says. It is not inherently low intelligence, but religious fanaticism and factionalism, that causes THEIR problems You have a point, but have not gone all the way.  There IS a racial component to IQ.  Semites do have a racial inheritence, which in large statistical terms can be measured.  Statistics is large groupings, where data indicates group behavior.  IQ must be discussed in racial terms. Semites are good at science and math.  This DOES not mean they are good engineers or inventors.  It does not mean they are good at exploration, or good at art.  In fact, Semite art tends to be geometric.  A high admixture of Neanderthal is suggested as to why semite brain function is measurably different in statistical terms.  Please do not do an "exception means the rule" comment.  There are always exceptions.  Neanderthals had no cave art, but they did a lot of counting.It is a small subset of white men, who tend to toil for decades with little reward - these are the "crazies" that tend to push civilization forward.  The "data" is overwhelming if one cares to look - the bulk of science and patents is done by white men, with some Asian and Semite contributions.  The Asian and Semite contribution does not correlate to their population numbers.  Women are almost a non-factor.I know that non-white races have racial pride, but avoiding actual data is avoidance of reality.  It is not cool telling yourself lies, it makes one not well equiped to deal with the world as it is.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon