‘They lie to you’: Trump previously held private meetings with Navy SEALs to candidly discuss Afghanistan war
- In 2017, 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. “I just want enlisted guys.”
- 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 reportedly told Trump. “We don’t fight to win. The morale is terrible. It’s totally corrupt.”
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.
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