Trump Afghanistan plan? More air strikes likely, and training Afghan air force

President Donald Trump's speech on military policy in Afghanistan didn't provide much in the way of specifics about troop numbers or other measures of force commitment or our long-term goals. All that vagueness led to tea-leaf-reading today. Reuters spoke with the top general of the U.S. Air Force, and learned the USAF may intensify air strikes in Afghanistan and expand training of the Afghan air force.

The U.S. war in Afghanistan will soon enter its 17th year.


Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein told Reuters he is still examining the matter, "as the U.S. military's top brass had only begun the process of translating Trump's war strategy into action."


Asked whether the Air Force would dedicate more assets to Afghanistan, where the United States has been engaged in its longest military conflict, Goldfein said only: "Possibly."

"It's actually too early to tell what this will mean in terms of plus-ups and reductions," he said in a joint interview with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

Still, he acknowledged that the Air Force was "absolutely" examining the possibility of increasing air power, including to support U.S. ground forces, following Trump's promise of a stepped-up campaign against Taliban insurgents, who have gained ground against U.S.-backed Afghan government forces.

Goldfein said the same about providing training to Afghan pilots.

PHOTO: US soldiers walk near a police checkpoint in Afghanistan. (Reuters / Lucas Jackson)