The Dream Never Dies in Afghanistan

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Apparently we are going to stay in Afghanistan forever. If we leave, the Taliban will likely take over large swaths of the country—if not the entire place—and no president wants to be in office when that happens. But neither can we “win.” So we just keep announcing the same old plan: send in more troops. Here’s the latest:

Senior Trump administration and military officials are recommending sending several thousand additional American troops to Afghanistan to try to break a military deadlock in the 15-year war there, in part by pressuring the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government.

….American officials said that 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops, including hundreds of Special Operations forces, could be sent….NATO nations would also be asked to send thousands of troops, and the precise number of American forces deployed would probably depend on what those allies were prepared to do.

Is this a joke? We’ve been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for more than 15 years and we’re once again pretending that adding a few more troops will break that 15-year stalemate? Here’s what troop levels have looked like in Afghanistan since the war started:

The official story is that Trump’s little uptick will be the final straw that panics the Taliban into serious negotiations. I would sure like to hear someone defend this fanciful notion with a straight face.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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