On January 20, next year, Donald Trump will take over as the 45th President of the United States of America, at a time when the U.S. remains engaged in the longest war in its history — the war in Afghanistan. He will be the third President to deal with the war launched in 2001 by U.S. President George Bush and sought to be brought to a conclusion by his successor U.S. President Barack Obama.
Even though ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ ended on December 28, 2014 implying an end to formal combat operations by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces, the U.S. still maintains approximately 9,800 troops as part of the international troop presence numbering over 12,000 under ‘Operation Resolute Support’. Primary responsibility for fighting the insurgency was transferred to the Afghan National Security Forces (consisting of the military and the police) two years ago but U.S. presence is essential to provide critical domain awareness, intelligence and surveillance support, air power and special forces.
For Mr. Bush, the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan was an integral part of his war on terror, launched on September 20, 2001. The U.S.-led effort enjoyed broad international support which continued even after Mr. Bush’s ill-conceived invasion in Iraq in 2003 in search of the non-existent weapons of mass destruction. The Iraq invasion however diluted Washington’s focus on the challenges it faced in Afghanistan. Read More…