The Pentagon Has a New Acronym for Afghanistan. Can it Win the War? by Aaron Mehta - Defense News
The Trump administration’s Afghanistan strategy has a new acronym, one which the Pentagon’s top officials say will lay the groundwork for a stable Afghanistan in the future.
Appearing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis described the strategy as “R4+S,” which stands for “regionalize, realign, reinforce, reconcile and sustain.”
Both Mattis and Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, sought to draw a line between U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy and that of the Obama administration, with Dunford flatly stating that the U.S. drawdown was “too far and too fast” to allow for success.
But senators expressed skepticism that the strategy truly would change anything on the ground after 16 years of ongoing conflict…
During the hearing, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., pushed Mattis on whether he would be “honest with the American people” about troop numbers, to which Mattis replied: “No ma'am, if it involves telling the enemy something that will help them.”
However, Mattis said that “in any terms of honesty with this committee, in private, at any time, we will get as specific as you wish. No reservations at all in private. In talking with the American people, we will tell them we are adding the troops. We’ll give approximate numbers. We’re not hiding this. But I’d rather not say the specific capabilities, the specific numbers.”