Trump Is Sending National Security Adviser H R McMaster To Afghanistan

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President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, where he announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser. NEWS President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, where he announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

President Donald Trump is sending his national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan, according to Military Times.


Trump announced the move during a press conference with NATO Secretary Gen. Jans Stoltenberg. McMaster's trip will focus on assessing whether more U.S. forces are needed to turn around the war in Afghanistan, which has been ongoing since late 2001.

In February, Army Gen. John Nicholson told Congress he needed a "few thousand" more troops in order to break what he called a "stalemate" with the Taliban.

There are about 8,400 U.S. troops there, along with 5,000 from NATO allies.

The situation in Afghanistan is far from a stalemate, however. The latest assessment from the Institute for the Study of War released in February shows the situation has been deteriorating, especially since troop levels were lowered significantly after 2011.

Of about 400 districts in Afghanistan, the Taliban controls, contests, or influences 171 of them, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States said Tuesday his country could handle itself without NATO support "for the most part" by 2020.

In 2009, President Obama ordered a troop "surge" of 30,000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan, though some criticized him for announcing his intention to pull them out within 18 months.

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