Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Afghanistan War Getting Little Notice from Trump White House |

Afghanistan War Getting Little Notice from Trump White House | Afghanistan, America's longest military fight, is getting little attention so far from the Trump administration despite the protracted struggle to rein in the Taliban and battle a stubborn Islamic State affiliate there.

The conflict, now in its 16th year, got only a peripheral mention during President Donald Trump's visit Monday to U.S. Central Command, which oversees the conflicts in the Middle East. And there's little discussion of a revamped policy to beef up the Afghan security forces as they work to make their country secure.

America, Trump said in Tampa, expresses its gratitude to "everyone serving overseas, including our military personnel in Afghanistan." That was it for a conflict that includes about 8,400 U.S. troops conducting counterterrorism operations against insurgents, and training and advising Afghanistan's military.

The contrast with the U.S. effort to defeat IS in Iraq and Syria has been striking. While Trump has given the Pentagon 30 days to come up with a new plan to defeat the self-described caliphate, there has been no similar order for Afghanistan. It's unclear if the White House simply wants to maintain Obama administration policies to bolster Afghan forces and keep some U.S. troops in the country for counterterror missions.