Donald Trump’s military advisers have proposed deploying up to 5,000 troops to Afghanistan “to push an increasingly confident and resurgent Taliban back to the negotiating table,” according to the Washington Post.
Trump is reportedly mulling over the idea from multiple angles. On the one hand, even a small military surge would run counter to his campaign promises to avoid conflict.
On the other hand, there’s pretty much nothing he won’t do to shut this whole Russia thing down. Just ask James Comey.
The recommendation raises several questions.
How might sending in troops convince the Taliban to negotiate when an even greater number of American soldiers failed to achieve the same? How will the strategy this time around differ from last time? Are there any plans to stabilize the region?
And how are we going to pay for this? Considering the GOP says it’s all about belt tightening, we’ve already spent $783 billion on this futile 15-year war.
The war toll has included an estimated 2,220 American lives and a staggering 91,000 Afghan lives, but the Taliban controls more of the country than it has since the U.S. invaded in 2001.
It seems that with this Afghan re-invasion, which seems doomed to fail, it might make sense for there to be some sort of a good faith agreement.
If the president’s sons were among the first soldiers deployed, it would signify a solid belief that this is—in the words of an actual U.S. official—the way to “start winning” again.
What better way to show their patriotism, dedication, loyalty, and all that other stuff they totally don’t believe in but rail on about because they can make money off it? At 39 and 33, Don Jr. and Eric are a little old to start their military careers, but that would just make their sacrifice an even greater testament to how much they believe in this mission.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why Don Jr. and Eric Trump should be the first soldiers deployed to Afghanistan.
1. No need to waste money training them how to use guns.
The two eldest Trump sons can’t get enough of talking about their love for the Second Amendment and how guns don’t kill people, along with a bunch of other lazy cliches lifted from the weapons lobby.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Don Jr. boasted that he’s “a natural” shooter, while his brother Eric got caught allegedly trying to trade a Remington rifle online, possibly in defiance of New York state gun laws.
On the campaign trail, the Trump paterfamilias said his NRA-card-carrying sons “have so many rifles and so many guns, sometimes even I get a little bit concerned.”
With Trump and the GOP concerned about the drain on the economy by arts programs, African-American colleges, poor people wanting to be treated like humans—everything but his vacation or war, really—here’s a chance to save money. Instead of wasting dollars on weapons training, the Trump marksmen can take their gun skills and head right into combat.
Maybe the money we save can be used to build that “big, beautiful door” Trump said he’s gonna install in his big, dumb wall.
2. It’ll give the animals they kill one less rich a-hole to worry about for a while.
Don Jr. celebrated Earth Day this year by shooting prairie dogs, right in the middle of their breeding season.
In Montana, prairie dogs are a species of concern because their numbers have dropped off in recent years, and they’re no good for eating. So shooting them is just about the fun of watching something adorable die.
Prairie dogs aren’t the only animals the Trumps enjoy shooting.
There are lots of photos on the internet of the brothers standing next to the exotic creatures they’ve killed, including a warthog, leopard, antelope, bighorn sheep and buffalo (one each!).
When asked his favorite animal to hunt, Eric rattled off a bunch of choices before admitting he found it “very hard to pick a favorite.”
Sending these two to Afghanistan won’t solve every animal’s problems, but it’s nice to have two less dudes shooting animals for sport.
3. They love to travel.
Having taken over the organization their father refused to put in a blind trust, the Trump sons have been jetting all over the world wheeling and dealing, even though the president promised the business wouldn’t be making any new foreign deals.
NPR detailed some of their travels earlier this year. In early January, Eric Trump took a trip to Uruguay to check progress on an unfinished Trump tower.
About a month later, he was in the Dominican Republic, seeing whether an earlier resort project could be revived.
He joined his brother, Donald Jr., a couple of weeks later at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Trump-branded golf course in Dubai.
Then the two popped up last week in Vancouver, Canada, for the opening of a new Trump hotel.
Since they’re now afforded a Secret Service detail, those trips to enrich the family come at a cost to taxpayers.
The Washington Post estimated the trip to Uruguay alone cost taxpayers $97,830 just to cover hotel costs.
Robert Gordon, a Stanford law professor, suggests that while the Secret Service protection is necessary, the out-and-out entitlement is not.
“Given that this is supplied to them free by the government,” Gordon told NPR, “shouldn’t they exercise a little common sense and restraint in how far they use this perk?”
A deployment to Afghanistan would allow them to continue seeing the world, collecting unique experiences.
It would also suspend the need for more Secret Service spending while they act as their own security forces!
4. They can help daddy make up for all those Vietnam deferments.
According to the New York Times, Trump at age 22 “stood 6 feet 2 inches with an athletic build; had played football, tennis and squash; and was taking up golf.”
The paper describes his medical history as “unblemished, aside from a routine appendectomy when he was 10.”
But Trump was granted 1-Y medical deferment for Vietnam because of “bone spurs in his heels.”
He told the Times he couldn’t remember the name of the doctor he saw, but that he’d get the newspaper a copy of the letter later, along with a copy of his taxes.
All in all, with deferments for education, Trump successfully held off the draft five times.
In 1998, Trump compared vaginas to landmines and said not getting an STD was his “own personal Vietnam.”
Speaking of John McCain, who spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Trump said, “I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”
He also told the Gold Star Khan parents that he’d made a lot of “sacrifices,” as if cheating people out of what they’re owed is like losing a child.
Perhaps the best way to make up for all those things is to show a renewed and genuine interest in Making America Great Again by turning it into a family effort.
5. They can prove they’re not rich elites whose privilege protects them from serving.
Eric allegedly bragged about how the Russians provide his family with an endless source of money.
Don Jr.’s reported collegiate reputation was for getting into “do-you-have-any-idea-who-I-am? fights.”
Shedding all that rich kid baggage and heading to Afghanistan would prove they’re the salt-of-the-earth bros they recently started pretending to be.
Also, it would protect America’s war rations of hair gel. We all have to do our part.