“If we don’t have the appetite to be there a long time, we should just leave,” senior administration official says.

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a total U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan as part of the administration’s strategy review towards the 16-year conflict.

According to the Wall Street Journal, current and former administration officials say the White House is analyzing the implications of a scaled back military presence in Afghanistan.

“It’s a macro question as to whether the U.S., this administration, and this president are committed to staying,” a senior administration official said. “It doesn’t work unless we are there for a long time, and if we don’t have the appetite to be there a long time, we should just leave. It’s an unanswered question.”

A plan from McMaster calling for an additional 3,900 U.S. troops in Afghanistan was recently shot down during a recent National Security Council meeting due to the president being unconvinced that a troop surge would ultimately change the tide of the war.

The White House is also looking at the possibility of a heavily reduced U.S. role in Afghanistan that would instead put an emphasis on drone strikes and special forces groups.

“It is becoming clearer and clearer to people that those are the options: go forward with something like the strategy we have developed, or withdraw,” the senior administration official added.

One senior U.S. military official attempted to push back on the notion that a total troop withdrawal held widespread support within the White House.

“At best, that is a very low minority view,” the military official said. “It’s flawed because it doesn’t address the primary concerns of getting to a point where Afghanistan is able to secure itself.”

Former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Laurel Miller, who participated in McMaster’s policy review for Afghanistan, echoed Trump’s concerns last week over the ongoing conflict.

“I don’t think there is any serious analyst of the situation in Afghanistan who believes that the war is winnable,” Miller told Politico. “It’s possible to prevent the defeat of the Afghan government and prevent military victory by the Taliban, but this is not a war that’s going to be won.”

Despite predictions by Mattis that the White House would have its policy in place by mid-July, a concrete strategy remains out of reach as competing factions in the administration struggle for control over Afghanistan’s future.

  1. the entire 17 yrs or whatever has been a lie. this entire “war” was not about anything that happened on 9/11. the “active” perps were Saudi’s. there isn’t even an argument there. so we went to Afghanistan in hopes of securing the mineral rights for the fore-seeable future. well, in the middle of trying to get exxon-mobile installed as the enterprise co=ordinator, somebody pointed to all the poppies growing, for nothing. as in almost free. more runways and bases were constructed. look up the cia and drugs. we are told that $87 billion worth of heroin poppys are grown there yearly. do you think they are hauling that much out on camels? wake up. the cia has access to whatever aircraft they need. again, that’s a lot of money, $87 billion. I don’t know for sure, but I believe it would take more than all the camels on this rock could carry back in, in a year. so, we donate a fuel truck now and then. we keep those that want to work building stuff that nobody wants. and never finish any of it anyway. and the cia “skunk worx” get more airplanes, more concrete, more rebar, etc. and as cher would say, “the beat goes on”. do I give a shit if the “Taliban” runs roughshod over the entire country? stop by, i’ll buy you a shot of crown royal. the ONLY reason we have been in Afghanistan was to make money. to lose even one more American life for any reason in Afghanistan should be a crime punishable by death. to get the hell out makes sense in so many ways I can’t believe that even a general, retired or NOT has to be able to see the risk vs reward is way out of whack. get our materiel out, get our equipment out, and kiss it adios. just my opinion.

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