Small Wars Journal

Military Believes Trump’s Afghan War Plan Is Working, But Spy Agencies Are Pessimistic

Military Believes Trump’s Afghan War Plan Is Working, But Spy Agencies Are Pessimistic by Dion Nissenbaum and Gordon Lubold – Wall Street Journal

U.S. military and intelligence officials are at odds over the direction of the war in Afghanistan, creating a new source of friction as President Trump and his national security team seek a way to end the 17-year-old conflict, American officials said.

Intelligence officials have a pessimistic view of the conflict, according to people familiar with a continuing classified assessment, while military commanders are challenging that conclusion by arguing that Mr. Trump’s South Asia strategy is working.

The divisions come as the Trump administration is sending a new U.S. general to Kabul—the ninth in 11 years—to oversee international forces carrying out a year-old strategy that has yet to produce much measurable progress in Afghanistan.

Some officials overseeing the war are concerned that a negative intelligence assessment could prompt Mr. Trump to shift course and abandon a strategy he reluctantly embraced last year that sent thousands of additional American troops to Afghanistan.

At the heart of the debate is the evolving assessment of the war in Afghanistan by America’s 17 intelligence agencies, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency…

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