Unimpressed Trump Sends Pentagon Back to the Drawing Board on Afghanistan

AP

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, July 20, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. President Donald Trump, unimpressed by the Afghanistan war options presented to him during a White House meeting with his full national security team Wednesday, suggested they may have to go back to the drawing board to craft a strategy that does not mirror the failed ones employed by his predecessors, said an administration official.

The meeting came as the Pentagon briefed lawmakers about plans to increase the U.S. military footprint in the country.

Contrary to mainstream media claims that the president has taken a completely hands-offapproach to the 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, Trump presided over Wednesday’s meeting primarily aimed at discussing the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, a Trump administration official familiar with the deliberations told Breitbart News on condition of anonymity.

President Trump indicated that he is not satisfied with the strategy as it currently stands.

The Pentagon and White House National Security Council (NSC) declined to provide specifics about the developing plan.

President Trump demanded that his team go back to square one if necessary and create a realistic plan that ensures Afghanistan is ultimately able to stand on its own as a country, said the administration official, noting that the meeting served as a sort of wake up call for those involved in developing the strategy.

It appears that besides the Pentagon, the NSC has at least some authority in setting the strategy.

Asked about the meeting, the Pentagon did not confirm nor deny that the President asked officials to go back to the drawing board.

“We’re not going to discuss White House meetings or direction,” said Adam Stump, a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman, when Breitbart News asked whether or not it has been forced to start developing the Afghanistan war strategy from scratch and when it expects to present the plan to Trump.

The NSC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters last Friday a decision on the new plan would be unveiled around “mid-July” or “somewhere around there. We are driven by the maturity of the discussion, and where we’re at, we are not going to meet some timeline if we are not ready, but we are pretty close.”

Trump has granted the Pentagon the authority to decide how many additional troops to deploy to the war-ravaged country.

Currently, Mattis may increase that number of troops by between 3,000 and 5,000, from the 8,400 already there.

Mattis noted on Friday that the number of additional troops has not been “finalized yet,” adding that the Pentagon is waiting from input from the U.S. State Department.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, CNN reports that as it currently stands, the strategy:

Encompasses a way ahead in Afghanistan, including the possibility of sending more troops, but also a look at new ideas for dealing with Pakistan, which the US believes is supporting or turning a blind eye to a number of terror groups operating inside the country.

The president made it clear he is not interested in any approach that resembles the strategies used by his predecessors and will not accept anything less than a dramatic overhaul, the official told Breitbart News.

Directly dealing with Pakistan’s support for terrorists fighting the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan would mark a significant departure from what America has done in the past.

Most of the 2,255 U.S. military fatalities and 20,245 injury incidents have taken place in provinces that border Pakistan.

The Pentagon spokesman defined what victory in Afghanistan means for the Trump administration, saying it utlimately involves a settlement with the Taliban and terrorists laying down their arms.

Stump told Breitbart News:

The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan remains centered on working with NATO allies, operational partners, and the international community to defeat the remnants of core al Qaeda and to defeat other violent extremist organizations and terrorist groups, such as ISIS-K [Islamic State], to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a safe-haven for groups to plan and execute attacks against the United States, U.S. persons overseas, or allies and partners; and continuing efforts to provide financial and advisory support to the Afghan Government and to enable a well-trained, equipped, and sustainable ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Force] that provides security in Afghanistan.

The U.S. and Afghan Governments agree that the best way to ensure lasting peace and security in Afghanistan is through reconciliation and a political settlement with the Taliban. The United States supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process and supports any process that includes violent extremist groups laying down their arms.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Washington Post (WaPo) reports that the current U.S.-Afghan war is framed around a four-year plan to degrade the Taliban this is unlikely to “yield significant results until its later stages.”

In recently issued reports, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon have accused Pakistan of willingly serving as a safe-haven for the Taliban and its affiliates, including the deadly Haqqani Network.

The Taliban affirmed its relationship with al-Qaeda in December 2016.

Also see:

Coincidence? Polish Government Seats Trump Beside Painting of Polish King Famed For Routing Islam from Europe

AP Images

Breitbart, by Oliver JJ Lane, July 6, 2017:

President Donald Trump’s first photo-call in Poland after his arrival in Air Force One was with President Andrzej Duda and saw him sat beside an oil painting of a prominent figure in Polish history and folklore — the 17th-century king who kicked Islam out of Central Europe and is remembered as “the Hammer of the Turks”.

Warsaw’s Royal Palace, where the meeting took place — lavishly reconstructed after it was dynamited by Nazi German troops during the Second World War — benefits from a surfeit of grand rooms and hundreds of works of art.

From oils of kings and statesmen by artists such as Rembrandt to impressive murals and sculpture, the Polish authorities had a great deal of choice for where to host the symbolic first meeting of President Trump’s first European visit.

It may be seen as a remarkable coincidence, therefore, that of all the rooms and of all the paintings, they chose to sit President Trump besides a portrait of one of Poland’s best-known warrior kings. King Jan (John) III Sobieski is today remembered and celebrated in Poland, and elsewhere in Central Europe, for his pivotal role at the Battle of Vienna in September 1683.

A Portrait of King Jan Sobieski III hangs over President Trump’s right shoulder, Thursday morning / AP IMAGES

At the culmination of the two-month siege of Vienna by the forces of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, Sobieski led an army to relieve the city. Despite leading a force significantly smaller than the invading Ottomans, the coalition of Polish and Germanic troops staged one of, if not the largest, cavalry charge in the history of warfare and defeated the Ottoman army — ending centuries of Islamic attacks and invasions reaching the heart of Europe.

In today’s Poland, concern over the place of Islam in Europe continues — and the nation’s strong opposition to mass migration from non-Europeans has caused enduring friction with leaders in Brussels and Berlin, who are fully dedicated to open borders.

In a poll taken to coincide with Trump’s arrival in the country, when asked whether they would be willing to forego European Union money if it meant being able to continue blocking migrants from outside Europe, the majority said they would rather maintain their culture and nation and forego the cash.

The news may come as a blow for planners in the European Union, who have recently threatened to turn off the tap of development funds — of which Poland is the largest recipient — if they do not agree to open their borders.

Anglo-Polish expert on royalty and European history Rafe Heydel-Mankoo spoke to Breitbart London and said of the juxtaposition of King and president: “Having routed the Ottomans and saved Christendom, King Jan III Sobieski took the captured green standard of the Prophet and sent it to the Pope, along with the words “Veni, Vidi, Deus Vicit” (I came, I saw, God conquered).

“I suspect the president would be more likely to declare: ‘Trump came, Trump saw, Trump Conquered.’

“If President Trump now believes in NATO and seeks Turkey’s cooperation in the region, he might want to downplay association with a king nicknamed ‘The Hammer of the Turks’.”

Listen: Oliver JJ Lane discussed President Trump’s Poland visit with Breitbart Daily Show host Alex Marlow on Sirius XM Patriot:

EXCLUSIVE: How The Nation’s Spooks Played The Game ‘Kill Mike Flynn’

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Daily Caller, by Richard Pollock, Feb. 16, 2017:

National Security Advisor Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.) — who resigned Monday — was the victim of a “hit job” launched by intelligence operatives, Obama government holdovers and former Obama national security officials, according to former intelligence officials who spoke with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

The talk within the tight-knit community of retired intelligence officers was that Flynn’s sacking was a result of intelligence insiders at the CIA, NSA and National Security Council using a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” to create a crisis atmosphere. The former intel officers say the tactics hurled against Flynn over the last few months were the type of high profile hard-ball accusations previously reserved for top figures in enemy states, not for White House officials.

“This was a hit job,” charged retired Col. James Williamson, a 32-year Special Forces veteran who coordinated his operations with the intelligence community.

Noting the Obama administration first tried to silence Flynn in 2014 when the former president fired him as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Williamson called Monday’s resignation, “stage Two of ‘Kill Mike Flynn.”

Former intelligence officials who understand spy craft say Flynn’s resignation had everything to do with a “disinformation campaign” and little to do with the December phone conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

They charge officials from America’s top spy counsels leaked classified government intercepts of Flynn and President Trump’s conversations with world leaders and had “cutouts” — friendly civilians not associated with the agency — to distribute them to reporters in a coordinated fashion.

The issue of leaks was a prime topic for Trump when he tweeted Wednesday, “Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Retired Col. James Waurishuk, who spent three decades in top military intelligence posts and served at the National Security Council, said in an interview with TheDCNF. “We’ve never seen to the extent that those in the intelligence community are using intelligence apparatus and tools to be used politically against an administration official,” he said.

“The knives are out,” said Frederick Rustmann, who retired after 24 years from the CIA’s Clandestine Service and was a member of its elite Senior Intelligence Service.

The media is organizing to topple the Trump presidency with assistance of national security leaks, Rustman charged in an interview with TheDCNF.

“I would not be surprised if Trump did not finish four years because of the vendetta they have out for him,” he said, calling the move on Flynn just a “mini-vendetta.”

Williamson told TheDCNF in an interview, “I truly believe it’s orchestrated and it’s part of an overall strategy. The objective is to piece-by-piece, dismantle the Trump administration, to discredit Trump.  This is part of an overarching plan.”

D.W. Wilber, who has over 30 years of experience in security and counterterrorism with the CIA and the Defense Department agrees.

“It appears to me there has been a concerted effort to try to discredit not only General Flynn, but obviously, the entire Trump administration through him.  He just happened to be the first scalp,” Wilber told TheDCNF in an interview.

Williamson agreed, telling theDCNF, “There are individuals who are well versed in information operations — we used to call that propaganda.  They know how to do it.  It’s deliberately orchestrated.”

Retired Marine Col. Bill Cowan, who often interacted with the intelligence operatives in combat zones, believes Mike Pompeo, Trump’s new CIA Director, must clean house. Otherwise, the administration will encounter four years of attacks.

“The director, Pompeo, if he doesn’t get a hold of the agency and its personnel, he can expect four years of this: clandestine, undercover disinformation, misinformation, psychological information to undermine this administration and this president,” he told TheDCNF.

Charles Goslin, a 27-year veteran in CIA operations also believes that many insubordinate intelligence staff are working within the National Security Council within the White House.

“With the NSC, I think that’s where the leaks are coming from on calls to foreign leaders. That’s where they undermined Flynn to the point where he got hammered,” Goslin told TheDCNF in an interview.

Goslin noted, “When Trump came in, even though they were able to staff key NSC positions, for the most part it’s still staffed by previous administration holdovers and bureaucratic appointees.”

“I don’t think they have any loyalty to the current administration,” the former CIA operations officer said, adding, “the NSC is going to be a hard one to fix.”

All of the former intelligence officials say the rage against Flynn dated back to when the decorated general headed up the DIA.  There he garnered a reputation to balk at the “politicization of military intelligence” in order to conform with President Obama’s world views.

Flynn refused to downplay the threat posed by the Islamic State and other radical Islamic groups throughout his two-year reign at the DIA. He was fired after offering congressional testimony that was at odds with the Obama administration’s posture on the Islamic threat.

Waurishuk, who interacted with Flynn as an Air Force intelligence officer and as deputy director of intelligence at the U.S. Central Command, said Flynn was a “straight shooter” who always demanded accurate threat assessments and never bent to the Obama pressures of political correctness.

Waurishuk worked in military intelligence in the Obama administration. He told TheDCNF Obama officials “know Flynn and they hate Flynn because he would call them out.  So, this was their opportunity to wage what is a personal vendetta in some respects.”

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has promised to look into the leaks of classified information to reporters. The date has yet to be set for the hearings.

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