Trump, frustrated by Afghan war, suggests firing U.S. commander: officials
President Donald Trump's doubts about the war in Afghanistan has led to a delay in completing a new U.S. strategy in South Asia, skepticism that included a suggestion that the U.S. military commander in the region be fired, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, APA reports quoting Reuters.
During a July 19 meeting in the White House Situation Room, Trump demanded that his top national security aides provide more information on what one official called "the end-state" in a country where the United States has spent 16 years fighting against the Taliban with no end in sight.
The meeting grew stormy when Trump said Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, a Marine general, should consider firing Army General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, for not winning the war.
"We aren't winning," he told them, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In addition, once the meeting concluded, Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, got into what one official called "a shouting match" with White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster over the direction of U.S. policy.
Some officials left the meeting “stunned” by the president’s vehement complaints that the military was allowing the United States to lose the war
Mattis, McMaster and other top aides are putting together answers to Trump's questions in a way to try to get him to approve the strategy, the officials said.
The White House had no comment on the accounts of the meeting.
Another meeting of top aides is scheduled on Thursday.
Although Trump earlier this year gave Mattis the authority to deploy U.S. military forces as he sees fit, in fact the defense secretary's plans to add around 4,000 more U.S. troops to the 8,400 currently deployed in Afghanistan are being caught up in the delay surrounding the strategy, the officials said.
"It's been contingent all along informally on the strategy being approved," a senior administration official said of the troop deployment.
Trump has long been a skeptic of lingering U.S. involvement in foreign wars and has expressed little interest in deploying military forces without a specific plan on what they will do and for how long.
Officials said Trump argued that the United States should demand a share of Afghanistan’s estimated $1 trillion in mineral wealth in exchange for its assistance to the Afghan government.
But other officials noted that without securing the entire country, which could take many years, there is no way to get the country’s mineral riches to market, except to Iran. Trump complained that the Chinese are profiting from their mining operations, the officials said.
Related news releases
- 23.08.2017UN agencies offer emergency assistance to Iraqis fleeing Tal Afar
- 23.08.2017Maduro: Venezuela-US relations at ‘worst moment’
- 23.08.2017US talked to Russia, China about role in Afghan peace process - Tillerson
- 22.08.2017China urges U.S. to fix 'mistake' of sanctioning firms over North Korea
- 22.08.2017US backs Iraq’s territorial integrity: Defense minister
- 22.08.2017Unknown security threat causes lockdown at White House
- 22.08.2017Protesters storm Charlottesville city council meeting
- 22.08.2017U.S., North Korea clash at U.N. forum over nuclear weapons
- 22.08.2017US adds 4 Russian nationals in sanctions list
- 22.08.2017Trump: No timetable for Afghan troop withdrawal
- 21.08.2017Secret Service budget takes blow protecting Trump
- 20.08.2017Second officer dies in Florida police shooting
- 20.08.2017Veteran NAFTA negotiators likely to deflect political pressures
- 20.08.2017Counterprotest derails 'free speech' rally in US city
- 19.08.2017Boston march against right-wing rally draws thousands
- 19.08.2017Earthquake of 6.4 magnitude strikes west of Tonga
- 19.08.2017US has no intention to stay in Syria: State Dept
- 19.08.2017Romania negotiating to buy U.S. rocket systems worth $1.25 billion: Pentagon
- 19.08.2017U.S. State Department email restored after global outage
- 19.08.2017Oil jumps 3 percent as dollar falls, U.S. rig count drops
- 18.08.2017Rare US solar eclipse to help unlock sun's secrets
- 18.08.2017Trump fires adviser Bannon
- 18.08.2017UN Security Council condemns Barcelona terrorist attack
- 17.08.2017White House chief of staff briefs Trump on Barcelona incident
- 17.08.2017At least 13 dead in terror attack in Barcelona - UPDATED - VIDEO
- 17.08.2017Clashes at Venezuelan Prison Kill 37 Inmates, Wound 4
- 17.08.2017At least six killed in suspected gang attack at Guatemala hospital
- 17.08.2017Mike Pence urges four South American nations to cut contacts with North Korea
- 17.08.2017US Black Hawk missing in Hawaii, search underway for crew
- 17.08.2017Trump ends business councils after mass resignations
- 16.08.2017Explosion occurs at plaza Venezuela metro station in Caracas
- 16.08.2017Trump: Both sides to blame in Charlottesville violence
- 16.08.2017Colombia’s FARC to become political party with new name, same acronym
- 16.08.2017U.S. confident of 'peaceable' Venezuelan solution
- 16.08.2017US senator McCain urges Trump to promote free trade as NAFTA talks begin
- 15.08.2017U.S. sanctions hit Russian hopes of a 'Trump bump' for investment
- 15.08.2017Oil prices steady after overnight tumble on dollar strength
- 15.08.2017Venezuela's Maduro seeks to capitalize on Trump's military threat
- 15.08.2017Pence says 'failed state' in Venezuela threatens United States
- 15.08.2017Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists
- 03.08.2017U.S. bans travel to North Korea from September 1, says Americans should leave
- 03.08.2017FBI arrested cyber expert who ended WannaCry attack: U.S. Marshall Service
- 04.08.2017Grand jury assembled in Trump-Russia investigation
- 03.08.2017Trump did not speak to Putin prior to signing Russia sanctions bill, White House
- 02.08.2017Trump backs stricter US immigration laws
- 02.08.2017Trump signs Russia sanctions bill into law