WASHINGTON — President Obama signed a classified order in recent weeks authorizing a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year.
Mr. Obama’s order allows American forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government, a broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year, according to several administration, military and congressional officials with knowledge of the decision. The new authorization also allows American jets, bombers and drones to support Afghan troops on combat missions.
It sounds like Obama may have learned a thing or two after losing the peace in Iraq. I have been a vocal opponent of his Iraq policy, both before and after ISIS. However, I applaud Obama for realizing that he is on the same path in Afghanistan, and hopefully taking meaningful steps to maintain a presence there. If we leave, AQ/Taliban will quickly pour in to that nation and we will have a second ISIS. Hopefully he stays on the same path here, though he regrettably drags his feet in Iraq.