Mattis Tells Congress That We Aren’t Currently Winning In Afghanistan And That Will Change

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The United States is “not winning” the war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress on Tuesday, promising to brief lawmakers on a new war strategy by mid-July that is widely expected to call for thousands more U.S. troops.

The remarks were a blunt reminder of the gloom underscoring U.S. military assessments of the war between the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the Islamist militant group, classified by U.S. commanders as a “stalemate” despite almost 16 years of fighting.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible,” Mattis said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mattis acknowledged that he believed the Taliban were “surging” at the moment, something he said he intended to address.

Brutal honesty from the Secretary of Defense. Something absolutely has gotta change in the United States’ war effort in Afghanistan. Feels like we are just treading water. We are fighting a war that the public has largely forgotten about, and we are supplying the fighters in a way that shows that we have forgotten about it.

The men and women on the ground are doing the very best that they can to quell the surges, but we don’t dominate in numbers or in resources like we should. Mattis knows that has gotta change.

Personally, I would fucking hate to see tens of thousands of US troops on the ground again, and I would also hate to see us continue down the path of non-victory.

Mattis said when he was a general that if you don’t have a plan to win a war, you don’t fight that war. If you don’t have a clear objective, you can’t get an objective to your troops. If the mission isn’t clear, what is the mission? Hopefully, the Secretary will figure that shit out and fast. Three more American soldiers died this week in Afghanistan. The Pentagon identified them as Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore, Maryland; Sgt. William M. Bays, 29, of Barstow, California; and Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22, of Youngsville, North Carolina.

Keep the enemy up at night, Mr. Secretary.

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