Trump: “I Want To Listen To Front-Line Soliders, Not Just Generals”
What a smart man!
Any successful business person knows that to get the true story of how a business actually operates, you talk to the people in the trenches. In fact, anyone who has ever worked “in the trenches” knows that as well.
The people who actually make the business function, day in and day out, are the people who can tell you what works, what doesn’t, what needs fixed and what doesn’t.
The people who don’t have a clue about any of those things are the people who sit on management teams and make decisions based off spreadsheets and reports.
Donald Trump, a world class businessman, knows this better than anyone, and it’s why he’s shaking things up when it comes to Afghanistan. Trump is reportedly furious that the war in Afghanistan is stalling out. Trump wants to win and get the hell out.
So do I!
So he’s reportedly done listening to Generals who have done diddly-squat so far, and he’s turning his attention – and ear – to those on the front lines.
Here’s more, from AmericanMilitaryNews:
During a tense mid-July meeting with his national-security team, President Donald Trump dismissed the counsel of high-ranking military commanders, saying he leaned toward the advice of rank-and-file soldiers over that of his generals.
According to an NBC News report, Trump singled out Defense Secretary James Mattis, a retired Marine general, saying he had given Mattis authority to make decisions about the war months prior but had seen little progress.
Trump delegated authority to Mattis to set troop levels in Afghanistan in June, though the secretary would need White House permission to send more than 3,900 troops to the war-torn country.
“We aren’t winning,” Trump said at the July 19 meeting, senior administration officials told NBC. “We are losing.” (Mattis himself told the Senate Armed Services Committee the same in July.)
One official told NBC that Trump’s military advisers entered the meeting hoping he would agree to a strategy for the US’s nearly 16-year-old war. But Trump’s thinking appeared to have been influenced by another meeting he had with veterans from the war.
“We’ve been there for now close to 17 years, and I want to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years, how it’s going, and what we should do in terms of additional ideas,” Trump said prior to the meeting with veterans. “I’ve heard plenty of ideas from a lot of people, but I want to hear it from the people on the ground.”
Trump told his national-security advisers that the veterans he met with told him NATO forces deployed to Afghanistan to assist the US had been of little help and complained about China profiting off Afghanistan’s estimated $1 trillion in rare minerals — mineral rights China bought years ago with US support.
Trump relayed an anecdote about a troubled restaurant renovation in New York City in the 1980s to highlight how he thought his high-ranking advisers were failing him.
“Officials said Trump kept stressing the idea that lousy advice cost the owner a year of lost business and that talking to the restaurant’s waiters instead might have yielded a better result,”NBC reported. “He also said the tendency is to assume if someone isn’t a three-star general he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and that in his own experience in business talking to low-ranking workers has gotten him better outcomes.”
According to NBC, the restaurant closed for two months in 1987 for a full renovation before reopening to acclaim.
Other Trump advisers have reportedly solicited advice on the war in Afghanistan from Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater private-security firm. Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, were able to get Prince into a meeting with Mattis in July, but the defense secretary declined to include Prince’s ideas in his review of the war.
The meeting left Trump’s advisers frustrated and, according to NBC, ended without a firm decision about the future of Army Gen. John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan.
Nicholson is the 12th person to hold the top job in Afghanistan. He has called the situation there a stalemate and cautioned Congress that more US troops may needed to counter outside influence there — from Russia in particular.
An Afghan policeman stands guard near the site where a suicide bomber struck a NATO convoy on Aug. 2, 2017. Associated Press
Nicholson also decided to drop the US’s “mother of all bombs” — the 21,000-pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb — on an ISIS compound in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan in April.
According to military experts who spoke with NBC, it would be unwise to rely on input from ground troops to formulate an overarching strategy, particularly in a war like that in Afghanistan.
Do you support Trump’s move here?