Frank Gaffney: Trump Should Adopt Erik Prince’s Strategy to ‘Reduce the American Footprint’ in Afghanistan

Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney joined SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss President Trump’s announcement of his strategy in Afghanistan.

Gaffney said it remains to be seen whether Trump’s approach to Afghanistan is “different enough” from that of previous administrations to make a difference.

“I think that the president rejected what H.R. McMaster originally had in mind, thank God, which was 50,000 more U.S. troops in Afghanistan,” he said. “He didn’t, in the end, as you know, explicitly endorse a number.”

“In fact, he made some significant changes from the previous administration’s approach by saying we’re going to try to win, which is really a breakthrough,” Gaffney continued. “We’re going to make this condition-based, not arbitrarily aligned with some projections of the numbers of the amount of time they should be there. They’re going to stay until the job is done. All of that, I think, is an improvement over the previous administration if you think that we need to have a continuing presence in Afghanistan.”

Gaffney told Kassam he comes down “rather more closely to the approach that my friend Erik Prince and others have recommended, which is to reduce the American footprint – not abandon the place but greatly reduce the number of uniformed military personnel and the expense associated with trying to defeat the Taliban, and the Islamic State, and al-Qaeda, and who knows who all else at the moment who are operating once again from Afghan soil.”

“Do it with a small number of CIA personnel and some contractor support, basically backing up, and helping to lead, and helping to train, and helping to discipline, and helping to make more effective Afghan forces than we have proven to do thus far with this big army, big footprint approach,” he recommended.

Gaffney noted that if the conditions laid out by President Trump are never satisfied, his plan could devolve into another perpetual open-ended deployment.