Win Without War Director Stephen Miles issued the following statement regarding the Trump administration’s decision to send 4,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan:
The United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and sent hundreds of thousands of troops to fight throughout the last 16 years of war in Afghanistan. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died and we’re still nowhere closer to a solution to this conflict. Sending 4,000 additional U.S. troops — which the Trump administration has reportedly decided — will only serve to prolong a war with no military solution and put more American and Afghan lives at risk.
What’s even more preposterous is that President Trump has delegated this decision to Secretary of Defense James Mattis in a seeming effort to absolve responsibility for sending U.S. troops into harm’s way. But make no mistake, President Trump is commander-in-chief and he will be held accountable for once again escalating this endless war in Afghanistan. Even Mattis himself has acknowledged that the U.S. is “not winning” the war against the Taliban, and the administration has not provided any explanation on how sending a few thousand more troops will reverse that course.
Diplomacy and negotiation is the only way to finally end the conflict in Afghanistan and create the conditions for a lasting peace. After 16 years of war, it’s time for a different approach that abandons the myth that more and more American troops can solve the myriad of challenges Afghanistan faces — such as protracted tribal and political rivalries, rampant corruption, poverty, and regional feuding