Report: U.S. Looking to Boost Presence in Afghanistan for Taliban Fight

President Donald Trump’s top military and foreign-policy advisers are pushing for an expanded U.S. role in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported Monday. Citing U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Post reported the plan would give the Pentagon more power in dealing with the Taliban, both in terms of deciding on troop numbers for Afghanistan and ordering airstrikes. While Trump has not yet approved the plan, it has already won the approval of top Cabinet members, according to the report. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is said to be the catalyst behind the new strategy, prompting critics inside the White House to dub it “McMaster’s War.” With about 8,400 U.S. troops already on the ground in Afghanistan, the plan would add at least an additional 3,000, the report said. The strategy, prompted in part by Afghanistan’s deteriorating security situation and Trump’s desire to “start winning” again, would mark a major turnaround from former President Barack Obama’s moves to gradually decrease the number of U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan.