U.S. Army General Mark Milley, who serves as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the press last week that U.S. forces will continue to occupy Afghanistan for at least “several more years,” as the failed foreign policy of foreign intervention continues.
Milley appeared on ABC News on Sunday where he confirmed that U.S. troops will not be leaving Afghanistan until the job is complete, whatever that means. He issued an open-ended mandate that leaves the door open for endless war in the nation known as the graveyard of empires.
“That mission is not yet complete,” the general said. “In order for that mission to be successful the government of Afghanistan, the Afghan security forces, are going to have to be able to sustain their own internal security to prevent terrorists using their territory to attack other countries, especially the United States.”
The general also confirmed that troops would remain in Syria, despite the President’s repeated declarations that the U.S. had no reason to be in the country following the resounding defeat of the ISIS caliphate.
“There will be less than 1,000 [U.S. troops], for sure,” Milley said to ABC. “Probably in the 500ish frame, maybe six.”
President Trump’s rhetoric in recent months has been refreshingly non-interventionist in nature, as he seeks to establish himself as the peace candidate heading into next year’s presidential election.
“We don’t have to fight these endless wars. We’re bringing it back home. That’s what I won on. And some people, whether you call it the military industrial complex, or beyond that, they’d like me to stay. One of the problems I have and one of, for instance with the witch hunt, you have people that want me to stay. They want me to fight forever. They do very well fighting. That’s what they want to do. Fight. A lot of companies want to fight because they make their weapons based on fighting, not based on peace and they take care of a lot of people,” Trump said at a press conference last month.
“We’re 7,000 miles away. I campaigned on bringing our soldiers back home and that’s what I’m doing. That includes other places, too, many other places. Statutorily it takes a period of time. Diplomatically, it takes a period of time. But you know, we’re in many countries, many, many countries. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many, I know the exact number, but I’m embarrassed to say it because it’s so foolish,” Trump added.
While Trump may be willing to tell the truth about U.S. foreign policy, he is either unwilling or unable to do anything to change it in the White House. The ongoing Afghanistan occupation is a testament to the President’s failure to truly enact an “America First” foreign policy agenda.