Donald trump is an impatient man but you cannot fault him for that. During the election campaign, he had loudly proclaimed that he would solve the afghanistan problem inside two months. After coming to power he asked his generals including the Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, for a plan of action in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban. Though six months have elapsed the generals have not come out with anything significant on Afghanistan. The ire of the president is thus justified as he mentioned in the recent meeting that the top generals had not given him proper advice and the result was that the US was losing the war.

In this meeting, he also questioned the continuation of General Nicholson, the top commander in Afghanistan and suggested he be sacked as he was "losing the war". ABC news has reported on this.

Trump's ideas

Trump's ideas cannot be dismissed out of hand. He pointed out that in the case of a closed restaurant in New York, the waiters were better able to diagnose the problem than the top consultants. Donald meant that to solve a problem you need not be a top general but need good horse sense. He came to the meeting after meeting a few veterans who had served in Afghanistan

He pointed out that the NATO allies did precious little and on a map delineated the gains of the Taliban. He also castigated American policy to allow China to siphon away one trillion dollars worth of minerals while the US was doing all the fighting.

This is correct because China is mining minerals outside Kabul on a contract for the last 10 years.

Wrong advice

Trump does have a good nose and maybe he is right that most generals sitting far away, do not have a picture on the ground in Afghanistan. He felt he has been given wrong advice and he repeated his opinion that General Mattis and Chief of Staff, sack the Commander, Central Command, General Nicholson, a man he has never met.

Trump's ire is justified as yesterday, in a suicide attack on a convoy two American soldiers were killed. Obviously, something is lacking somewhere for the Taliban to consolidate its hold despite the immense air power at the disposal of the NATO alliance. Trump is also right that other NATO powers are not pulling their weight as was confirmed by many veterans who served in Afghanistan.


The USA is in a bind in Afghanistan and a fresh strategy is needed to win the war. A factor which Trump has to consider along with a change of command is the role of Pakistan. The Afghan president has complained to the US many times about it. Hopefully, Trump will work out a strategy to bring victory in Afghanistan.