SOCOM to Deliver Afghanistan Recommendations to President

US Special Operations Command will soon deliver recommendations on the war in Afghanistan to President Donald Trump, SOCOM leadership told Congress Thursday. “We are actively looking at adjustments to the approach in Afghanistan right now,” Theresa Whelan, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Additional troops are being considered, changes to the ROE [rules of engagement] are being considered,” added Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander of SOCOM. He said it would “absolutely be to our benefit” if the number of conventional forces were “thickened” in Afghanistan. “These proposals will go to the President within the next week,” Whelan said. The goal of the shift, she continued, is to “move beyond the stalemate,” as the current state of the war was described by Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, in February. “It is admittedly a very tough fight,” Thomas said, and the greatest challenge he faces is the lack of clarity on “some enduring state” that would mark the end of conflict. Thomas said he expects the administration’s new counter-ISIS strategy to “establish that definition.”