According to just-released reports, President Trump has been meeting with enlisted soldiers who have been deployed to Afghanistan behind-the-scenes in order to get a sense for how they feel about how the war has been going.
Since taking office in 2017, our president has held private meetings with only enlistees – no generals or high ranking officers – to get real assessments and advice from the “guys that have been there,” as Trump put it.
Check it out:
American Military News gave further details on Trump's private meetings with Afghan enlistees:
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has been meeting with enlisted troops to get a better understanding of how they feel the war in Afghanistan has been progressing.
Trump did not want to meet with higher ranking officers, instead choosing to meet with enlisted troops to get a more candid assessment of the America’s longest-running war, Business Insider reported.
“I want to sit down with some enlisted guys that have been there,” Trump reportedly told advisers, according to Peter Bergen, author of “Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.”
“I don’t want any generals in here. I don’t want any officers,” he added.
Enlisted members of the military may have been seen as better able to critique the war effort as their roles tend to place them closer to combat and the consequences of a command. Enlisted members are also less concerned with the day-to-day politics that might affect higher ranking officers.
Trump reportedly compared the opinions of senior military officers to those of a restaurant consultant. Rather than taking the advice of the consultant, who would suggest expanding a kitchen for renovations, Trump argued it would be more prudent and cost effective to ask the advice of the waiters who see the day to day operations and can identify the most basic problems in a restaurant’s functions.
Business Insider has more to say:
Months after taking office in 2017 and hoping to get a better understanding of America's longest war, President Donald Trump began taking meetings with enlisted US service members who deployed to Afghanistan.
"I want to sit down with some enlisted guys that have been there," Trump told advisers, according to the national security journalist Peter Bergen's latest book, "Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos."
"I don't want any generals in here. I don't want any officers," Trump added, according to Bergen's book, which was sourced from dozens of interviews with current and former White House officials and military officers. "I just want enlisted guys."
The meetings were intended for candid discussions about the war in Afghanistan, which was nearing its 16th year at the time, with US troops who served on the front lines.
Enlisted service members are typically viewed as the lifeline of the military — they are the men and women who conduct the specific tasks given to them by their officers, whose primary purpose is to lead. Compared with their commissioned counterparts, enlisted troops are also unencumbered by the day-to-day politics of the military and may have given an unfiltered assessment of the war in talks with their commander in chief.
Among the first Afghanistan veterans said to have talked to Trump were US Navy SEALs who spoke critically of the war.
"It's unwinnable. NATO's a joke. Nobody knows what they're doing," the SEALs said to Trump, according to Bergen's book. "We don't fight to win. The morale is terrible. It's totally corrupt."
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization joined the fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, and it led the International Security Assistance Force of as many as 130,000 troops until 2014. The organization's efforts in Afghanistan have been deeply criticized by those who point toward the continued presence of the Taliban in the region and the 2,400 American deaths in the conflict.