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Afghanistan

Trump Sending His National Security Advisor To Kabul

McMaster's trip will reportedly focus on assessing whether more U.S forces are needed in Afghanistan.

U.S President Donald Trump is sending his national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan, according to Business Insider.

Trump announced the move during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

McMaster's trip will reportedly focus on assessing whether more U.S forces are needed in Afghanistan. 

In February, Army Gen. John Nicholson told Congress he needed a "few thousand" more troops in order to break what he called a "stalemate" with the Taliban.

Afghan officials have not yet stated who McMaster will meet with while in Kabul. 

The Hindustan Times reported McMaster will also be in India this weekend to discuss the stabilization of Afghanistan in the wake of threats posed by and the expanding footprint of Daesh in provinces bordering Pakistan.

McMaster will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other high-level officials in what will be his first visit to South Asia since he took over in February.

McMaster will visit Kabul and Islamabad before he lands in New Delhi for a day .

There are about 8,400 U.S troops in Afghanistan, along with 5,000 from NATO allies.

The latest assessment from the Institute for the Study of War released in February shows the situation has been deteriorating, especially since troop levels were lowered significantly after 2011.

Of about 400 districts in Afghanistan, the Taliban controls, contests, or influences 171 of them, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Trump meanwhile said on Wednesday that NATO is not obsolete, as he had declared on the campaign trail last year, but said NATO members still need to pay their fair share for the European security umbrella.

"I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete," Trump said, adding that the Transatlantic alliance was adapting to the broader mission against Islamic militants that he had urged, reported Reuters.

"We must also work together to resolve the disaster currently taking place in Syria. We are grateful for the support of NATO members and partners in their condemnation of Assad's murderous attack using the most horrible weapons. The vicious slaughter of innocent civilians with chemical weapons, including the barbaric killing of small and helpless children and babies, must be forcefully rejected by any nation that values human life. It is time to end this brutal civil war, defeat terrorists and allow refugees to return home.

“The Secretary General and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.

“It's my hope that NATO will take on an increased role in supporting our Iraqi partners in their battle against ISIS. I'm also sending General McMaster to Afghanistan to find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners and NATO allies," Trump said.

Stoltenberg said he had an excellent and productive meeting in the Oval Office with Trump.

"Our mission in Afghanistan is a major contribution to the fight against international terrorism. NATO plays a key role in many other ways also. All NATO allies are part of the global coalition to counter ISIL (Daesh) and NATO provides the direct support to the coalition with training for Iraqi forces in their fight against terrorists and more intelligence sharing. And you are right, we have established a new division for intelligence, which enhances our ability to fight terrorism and working together in the alliance to fight terrorism in an even more effective way.

“But we agreed today, you and I, that NATO can and must do more in the global fight against terrorism. In the fight against terrorism training local forces is one of the best weapons we have. NATO has the experience the expertise and the staying power to make a real difference, and fighting terrorism will be an important topic when the leaders meet in Brussels in May," he said.

Afghanistan

Trump Sending His National Security Advisor To Kabul

McMaster's trip will reportedly focus on assessing whether more U.S forces are needed in Afghanistan.

Thumbnail

U.S President Donald Trump is sending his national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan, according to Business Insider.

Trump announced the move during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

McMaster's trip will reportedly focus on assessing whether more U.S forces are needed in Afghanistan. 

In February, Army Gen. John Nicholson told Congress he needed a "few thousand" more troops in order to break what he called a "stalemate" with the Taliban.

Afghan officials have not yet stated who McMaster will meet with while in Kabul. 

The Hindustan Times reported McMaster will also be in India this weekend to discuss the stabilization of Afghanistan in the wake of threats posed by and the expanding footprint of Daesh in provinces bordering Pakistan.

McMaster will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other high-level officials in what will be his first visit to South Asia since he took over in February.

McMaster will visit Kabul and Islamabad before he lands in New Delhi for a day .

There are about 8,400 U.S troops in Afghanistan, along with 5,000 from NATO allies.

The latest assessment from the Institute for the Study of War released in February shows the situation has been deteriorating, especially since troop levels were lowered significantly after 2011.

Of about 400 districts in Afghanistan, the Taliban controls, contests, or influences 171 of them, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Trump meanwhile said on Wednesday that NATO is not obsolete, as he had declared on the campaign trail last year, but said NATO members still need to pay their fair share for the European security umbrella.

"I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete," Trump said, adding that the Transatlantic alliance was adapting to the broader mission against Islamic militants that he had urged, reported Reuters.

"We must also work together to resolve the disaster currently taking place in Syria. We are grateful for the support of NATO members and partners in their condemnation of Assad's murderous attack using the most horrible weapons. The vicious slaughter of innocent civilians with chemical weapons, including the barbaric killing of small and helpless children and babies, must be forcefully rejected by any nation that values human life. It is time to end this brutal civil war, defeat terrorists and allow refugees to return home.

“The Secretary General and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.

“It's my hope that NATO will take on an increased role in supporting our Iraqi partners in their battle against ISIS. I'm also sending General McMaster to Afghanistan to find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners and NATO allies," Trump said.

Stoltenberg said he had an excellent and productive meeting in the Oval Office with Trump.

"Our mission in Afghanistan is a major contribution to the fight against international terrorism. NATO plays a key role in many other ways also. All NATO allies are part of the global coalition to counter ISIL (Daesh) and NATO provides the direct support to the coalition with training for Iraqi forces in their fight against terrorists and more intelligence sharing. And you are right, we have established a new division for intelligence, which enhances our ability to fight terrorism and working together in the alliance to fight terrorism in an even more effective way.

“But we agreed today, you and I, that NATO can and must do more in the global fight against terrorism. In the fight against terrorism training local forces is one of the best weapons we have. NATO has the experience the expertise and the staying power to make a real difference, and fighting terrorism will be an important topic when the leaders meet in Brussels in May," he said.

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