Friday's HOT MIC
The Pentagon is denying a report that the U.S. plans to send 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan. The Associated Press reported the news as a done deal, but the brass says ... not so fast.
The Pentagon is pushing back on a report that 4,000 more U.S. troops will head to Afghanistan and that an announcement about the deployment is imminent.
Defense Secretary James Mattis “has made no decisions on a troop increase for Afghanistan,” chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement Friday. “As he said throughout the week in testimony, the revised Afghanistan strategy will be presented to the president for his approval in the coming weeks.”
On Thursday night, The Associated Press, citing an unnamed Trump administration official, reported that Mattis has decided to send about 4,000 troops to Afghanistan to break what top generals have described as a stalemate.
Right now, there are about 8,400 troops in the country on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
According to the AP, most of the extra troops would go to the train, advise and assist mission, while a small number would go to the counterterrorism mission.
The AP said the decision could be announced as early as next week.
Liberals are aghast that Trump is leaving it up to the Pentagon to decide how many -- if any -- more troops are needed to win the war in Afghanistan. I wish Obama had done the same thing. Presidents with no military command experience -- and who but Ike since the end of WW II has had it? -- can only act on the recommendations of their top military advisers. So in the end, the president usually follows what the military leadership desires.
If the president doesn't like what's being suggested, he can always veto it. So getting your panties in a twist over Trump "giving away" the decision to send more troops is ignorant.