NEW YORK: (APP) A leading American newspaper Friday warned President, Donald Trump against sending more troops to Afghanistan to fight the growing insurgency, saying such reinforcements in the past had " failed or fell well short of their aims."
"Before the White House responds to the Pentagon's latest request for a troop surge in Afghanistan to counter insurgent forces that now control substantial parts of the country, it would serve administration officials well to examine the long history of deluded thinking about what could be accomplished if the United States committed more troops to the effort," The New York Times said in an editorial, 'Afghanistan Is Now Trump's War.'
"Afghanistan remains in the grip of a resolute insurgency and a kleptocratic, dysfunctional governing elite," the Times said.
"The Afghan state has been rapidly losing control of districts across the country to Taliban factions and Afghan forces are getting killed and injured at a rate American commanders call unsustainable.
Testifying before the Senate last month, Gen. John Nicholson, the current top commander in Afghanistan, said America's longest war is in a "stalemate" and lamented what he called a shortfall of a few thousand troops.
There are currently 13,000 international troops in Afghanistan, including about 8,400 Americans. On Thursday, Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of Centcom, said military leaders are drawing up a new strategy that will require more American troops.
But the Times said, "White House officials and members of Congress should consider this request with skepticism. The challenges that have stymied American generals in Afghanistan for years including, endemic corruption and poor leadership in the Afghan military remain unsolved. In the absence of a dramatically different approach to those problems, any new reinforcements can only be expected to shore up the fledgling Afghan government for a year or two".
"Sending troops into harm's way is among the most difficult responsibilities of a commander in chief. Yet there is little evidence that President Trump and his national security team have given the matter substantial consideration since his inauguration. Mr. Trump in 2013 favored a full withdrawal from Afghanistan, calling the war a waste of money. Last year, he said he would stay in Afghanistan, although, he said, 'I hate doing it so much'".
"Before he agrees to increased troop numbers, Mr. Trump would be wise to order a full assessment of the war to consider whether sending in more Americans can reasonably be expected to succeed in weakening an insurgency that has sprung back after earlier increases of American force.
"Unless the Pentagon delivers a strategy that is significantly different from previous ones, Mr. Trump would be sending more men and women into a deadly war zone while, at best, only temporarily delaying Afghanistan's descent into further chaos and violence."