Tags: Afghanistan | Al-Qaida | Donald Trump | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism

Stavridis: Mattis Likely 'Pregreased' Skids for NATO Troops

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2017 03:04 PM

It should not be hard for the United States to get another 4,000 troops from NATO allies in Europe to back up President Donald Trump's plans for Afghanistan, and it is most likely that Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis has "pregreased those skids," former NATO Allied Supreme Commander James Stavridis said Tuesday.

"Historically, we operated on a 2-1 ratio," the retired admiral and diplomacy analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, told "Morning Joe." "I had 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 50,000 allied NATO troops."

When it comes to 4,000 troops, that is "not a huge number," Stavridis continued. "The Europeans have 2 million troops, and it can be pressured, but I think they will join us."

Trump did not mention specific troop numbers during his Monday night address to the nation, but the Pentagon earlier this summer made a request for an additional 4,000 troops for Afghanistan.

There was not much new outlined in Trump's speech, Stavridis said, but then again, the president does not have many good options.

"If the United States pulls out quickly from Afghanistan, there is the risk of the Taliban or al-Qaida, or another terrorist organization, moving in to take the ungoverned space, said Stavridis, but if too many troops are added, the U.S. does not have the stomach for an enormous Middle Eastern or Asian War.

"The only two new elements I heard which were mildly hopeful were conditions based," Stavridis said. "I think it is important we put this on a timeline. We can stay in the game and hopefully over time we have a chance at pulling the Taliban toward a negotiation. We've hoped that a long time."

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It should not be hard for the United States to get another 4,000 troops from NATO allies in Europe, and it is most likely that Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis has "pregreased those skids," former NATO Allied Supreme Commander James Stavridis said Tuesday.
james mattis, nato, troops, james stavridis
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2017-04-22
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 03:04 PM
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