The Afghan Surge Trump Needs

The Pentagon wants more troops. But it’s the mission that matters.

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Media Outlet: Politico Magazine

John Dempsey wrote for Politico Magazine about President Trump's forthcoming Afghanistan strategy:

To change the trajectory of the war, a comprehensive political, economic, military, diplomatic and regional strategy is needed. The Obama administration knew this, but it obsessed over troop numbers, drawdown plans and ending the war. As Team Trump mulls options, they must avoid reinventing the flat tire. In particular, they need to resist the notion that they can turn the tide with more troops and beat back the Taliban. Instead, they need to recognize that success in Afghanistan will only come through a political settlement among all major Afghan factions, including the Taliban.


John Dempsey is a fellow in New America's International Security program, with a specialization in Afghanistan and South and Southeast Asia, the laws of armed conflict, and promoting rule of law, democracy, and security in fragile and developing states.