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Iran Press TV

Trump wants Afghan commander fired because US 'losing' war

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 3, 2017 6:27AM

US President Donald Trump has said in a recent meeting with his national security team that the United States is "losing" in Afghanistan, according to a new report.

During the July 19 meeting in the White House Situation Room, Trump wanted to fire Army General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, over his failure to improve security situation in the country where the United States sent forces about 16 years ago to defeat the Taliban but the militant group is still fully operative.

Trump asked Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, a Marine general, to consider firing General Nicholson for not winning the war, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"We aren't winning," Trump complained, the officials told the news network. "We are losing."

General Nicholson has been the commander of US forces in Afghanistan since March 2016. Trump's military advisers reportedly offered to arrange a meeting between the president and the general in order to help ease concerns, but Trump did not meet him.

In February, Nicholson was the first to call the war a stalemate and said that several thousand troops should be added to around 10,000 troops already stationed in the war-ravaged country to support the Afghan security forces against Taliban militants.

The United States -- under Republican George W. Bush's presidency -- and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror.

Washington claims that the massive military presence in Afghanistan is only aimed at maintaining security across the country until Afghan military forces are ready to take over the responsibility.

However, according to Professor Dennis Etler, Afghanistan serves as an essential staging ground for the US imperialism to destabilize the heart of Eurasia and disrupt its integration into Russia's Eurasian Economic Union and China's One Belt, One Road initiative.

Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs, told Press TV that the United States is not interested in establishing peace in Afghanistan.

"They will always try to use it as a staging ground for intervention throughout the region and as a card to play in its geo-political deck…US forces will try to remain in Afghanistan in perpetuity," the scholar said.

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