ASSESSMENTS

In Afghanistan, a Conflict With No Time Limit

MIN READMay 24, 2017 | 09:45 GMT

U.S. President Donald Trump is weighing the Pentagon's request to send up to 5,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

(WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images)

The invasion routes into Afghanistan are well worn at this point in history. The pathways leading out of the country, on the other hand, are far less clear. This is the predicament U.S. President Donald Trump faces as he weighs the Pentagon's proposal to send up to 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to support the struggling Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in their 15-year war against the Taliban. If Trump approves the measure, Washington will escalate its involvement in a conflict that has so far lasted through two presidencies. The move would entail granting U.S. troops greater authority on the battlefield, and may well invite a commensurate personnel contribution from the United States' allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But as much as the Afghan military could use reinforcement -- the Taliban are intensifying their attacks as part of the spring offensive -- Washington understands that more troops will only accomplish...

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