Sixteen years. It has now been over 16 years since the United States began military operations in Afghanistan. At the beginning of those operations, as I watched friends deploy to the initial fighting, I would have found the idea that I would deploy there at the beginning of a massive buildup of American troops in 2009, or that we would still be there in 2017, inconceivable. But like Vizzini, the evil mastermind and kidnapper from Princess Bride, I had a lot to learn about the meaning of “inconceivable.”
U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Tuesday that the new strategy for Afghanistan will try to replicate “a lot” of the tactics that have successfully pushed Islamic State from large parts of Iraq and Syria since 2014.
President Donald Trump has settled on a new military strategy in Afghanistan after months of bitter internal debates by his national security team and will announce a plan Monday expected to provide U.S. commanders with additional troops and broader authority to pursue militant forces.