When President Trump announced his decision to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan this week, he described it as a bold new strategy to achieve victory in the 16-year-old war.
“In the end, we will win,” he promised. “We will always win.”
But there wasn’t much that was new about the ideas Trump outlined. If you listened closely, he wasn’t really promising to win the Afghan war, except in the limited sense of preventing the Taliban from toppling the U.S.-backed government. And the few, sketchy steps he outlined didn’t add up to a true strategy — more like a holding action aimed at staving off defeat.
And yet, for all that, it could have been worse.