NBC News reports:
President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisers tasked with crafting a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the war’s top military commander during a tense meeting at the White House, according to senior administration officials.
Trump repeatedly suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war, the officials said. Trump has not met Nicholson, and the Pentagon has been considering extending his time in Afghanistan.
Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush went through multiple strategies over the course of their presidencies to try to stabilize Afghanistan. What set Trump apart in the July meeting was his open questioning of the quality of the advice he was receiving.
During the meeting, Trump criticized his military advisers seated around the table in the White House Situation Room for what he said was a losing U.S. position in the war, according to the senior administration officials. One official said Trump pointed to maps showing the Taliban gaining ground, and that Mattis responded to the president by saying the U.S. is losing because it doesn’t have the strategy it needs.