October 16, 2015

TSG IntelBrief: Mired in Afghanistan

• President Obama announced that the United States would keep 5,500 troops in Afghanistan after the planned 2017 full withdrawal

• The extended commitment, as well as the slowing of the planned 2016 drawdown, is a sober acknowledgment that Afghanistan is unstable and unable to maintain control over huge parts of the country

• It is unclear how 5,500 U.S. troops will counteract the systemic corruption and incompetence of the Afghan government, military, and bureaucracies when 100,000 troops could not

• The narrow counterterrorism focus—and emphasis on special forces operations—will likely continue to be the most effective tactic in the ongoing war.