Beyond Russian bounties: US Special Forces…

How should we understand the story of Russian bounties being paid to the Taliban for targeting American troops? No one needs a classified intelligence briefing to know the truth of what Russia was doing in Afghanistan. Enough of it is out in the open. The Kremlin wanted the environment in Afghanistan destabilized. They supported the Taliban to kill our guys so we would leave. Full stop. It’s hard to review even a barebones timeline of Russian behavior in Afghanistan and Syria and not question why intelligence about Russian activities, which was coming from US forces on the ground, was being so consistently ignored by the White House — even as they relied on Russia as a trusted counterpart for getting the hell out of Syria and Afghanistan. Instead, the Trump Administration made a series of decisions that have notably provided advantage to the Kremlin and its near term objectives. Because, as Mattis lightly warned, it isn’t just that President Trump is ignoring the threat from Russia — he is disarming us against it. Our leadership has ceded the battlefield. But Americans are still on the frontlines of the war. Read on:

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