[pjw] ACTION: 4, 000 more troops will be sent to Afghanistan unless we say NO (Salon 6/15)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Fri Jun 16 19:21:36 EDT 2017

Hi again Iraq Affinity Group supporters

Yesterday, news broke that the US is planning to send 4000 more troops to 
Afghanistan. The official troop level is supposed to be under 10,000 now 
but as the Slate piece below reports, "temporary" additions aren't 
included in the "official" count. (Someone in the article refers to this 
as the "forever war.") As noted in the dispatch from Zaher Wahab we sent 
out last week, the presence of the US only makes things worse for
Afghans. (By the way, Zaher will be in Portland next month and 
we'll be co-sponsoring a talk on or around July 26, watch for details.)

It may not be able to get pushed through quickly enough to stop this 
action, but there's a bill-- HR1266-- which seeks to stop funding any US 
activity in Afghanistan. For some reason nobody from Oregon has signed on 
yet, and there are only 10 cosponsors, the most recent of which was Rep 
John Conyers signing on earlier this month. Seems we should be able to get 
Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio on board if nothing else.


H.R.1666 - To prohibit the availability of funds for activities in the
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and for other purposes.
115th Congress (2017-2018) |

    Sponsor: Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC-3] (Introduced 03/22/2017)
    Committees: House - Foreign Affairs; Rules
    Latest Action: 04/27/2017 Sponsor introductory remarks on measure.

         Cosponsor              Date Cosponsored
    Rep. Duncan, John J., Jr. [R-TN-2]* 03/22/2017
    Rep. Garamendi, John [D-CA-3]*      03/22/2017
    Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large]*    03/22/2017
    Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13]*        03/22/2017
    Rep. Massie, Thomas [R-KY-4]*       03/22/2017
    Rep. Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14]*      03/22/2017
    Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel [D-MO-5]*     03/22/2017
    Rep. Larson, John B. [D-CT-1]       04/06/2017
    Rep. Costa, Jim [D-CA-16]           05/16/2017
    Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13]   06/02/2017


So put the word out and let's hope we don't keep making the same 
mistakes-- it's 16.5 years of making things worse over there and far past 
time to bring all the troops home!!!

dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

Pentagon Reportedly Plans to Send 4,000 More U.S. Troops to Afghanistan
    June 16 2017 3:57 PM
U.S. to Send 4,000 More Troops to Afghanistan, Associated Press Reports

    By [11]Osita Nwanevu

    The Pentagon plans to deploy 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, a
    Trump administration official has told [12]the Associated Press:

      The decision by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as
      early as next week, the official said. It follows Trump's move to
      give Mattis the authority to set troop levels and seeks to address
      assertions by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan that he doesn't
      have enough forces to help Afghanistan's army against a resurgent
      Taliban insurgency. 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.

      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

    A Pentagon spokesman told the AP that no final decision has been made.
    The AP says there are currently at least 10,400 U.S. troops already in
    the country, including at least 2,000 not included in the official
    8,400 troop cap imposed by the Obama administration. That 2,000, the
    AP's Lolita Baldor and Robert Burns write, includes "forces that are
    technically considered temporary even if they've been in the war zone
    for months."

    On Thursday, Slate's Fred Kaplan wrote about the folly of letting
    Mattis set the administration's Afghanistan strategy and [13]predicted
    that more troops were on the way:

      Mattis was an excellent wartime commander as a Marine. He is
      well-read in history and philosophy. But even the best Marines are
      trained mainly to execute policy, not to make it. And to the best
      wartime generals, the mandate of carrying out policy means winning
      the war. Retreating, withdrawing, drawing down--these might (or
      might not) be the preferences of a president, who views a war's
      costs and benefits in the context of many other priorities, but they
      have little place in the thinking of a general whose job is to focus
      only on the war. ...

      In other words, by turning over his authority to Mattis, Trump has
      all but guaranteed that more American troops will soon be sent to
      Afghanistan. Senior officers in the Pentagon [14]have reportedly
      asked for another 5,000 troops in addition to the 8,000 still there.
      It's a fair bet that Mattis will endorse the request. And it's also
      a fair bet that they won't be the last American troops sent over.

    Slate contributor Phillip Carter [15]recommended in May that the
    administration pursue a "minimalist counterterrorism strategy" in
    keeping with its America First rhetoric and noted a dissonance between
    that rhetoric and the blanket authority Trump has proved willing to
    give the Pentagon. "This [16]dissonance may reflect a [17]split of
    opinion between Trump and his political aides, and the military leaders
    he's [18]picked to run his Pentagon and National Security Council," he
    wrote. "If he could restrain his penchant for dishonesty and
    misinformation, he might accidentally articulate the true goals and
    costs of our continued war in Afghanistan. But without a president who
    can level with his administration and the American people, the
    [19]forever war will grind on, consuming lives and dollars for more
    years to come, with no end in sight and no way to judge whether it has
    all been worth it."

    Osita Nwanevu is a Slate editorial assistant.

12. https://apnews.com/630ebb827eb949199b41702bb4d4a089/APNewsBreak:-About-4,000-more-US-troops-to-go-to-Afghanistan
   13. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2017/06/trump_letting_mattis_decide_afghanistan_troop_levels.html
   14. http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/us-troops-afghanistan-donald-trump
   15. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/05/trump_s_afghanistan_strategy_could_get_us_sucked_back_into_the_forever_war.html
   16. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/defense/332928-seven-questions-congress-should-ask-about-trumps-mini-surge-in
   17. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/04/h_r_mcmaster_and_james_mattis_are_steering_trump_away_from_america_first.html
   18. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-surrounding-himself-with-generals-thats-dangerous/2016/11/30/e6a0a972-b190-11e6-840f-e3ebab6bcdd3_story.html
   19. http://www.businessinsider.com/president-trump-afghanistan-war-troop-surge-2017-5

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