An American-led invasion of Afghanistan would be a disastrous blow to NATO, and would likely set the stage for an even bigger conflict elsewhere in the world, say experts.
In the past decade, Afghanistan has become an important theater for a growing number of Middle Eastern conflicts, including the Syrian civil war, the Iraq war and the civil war in Libya.
But NATO has largely avoided involvement in Afghanistan because of its failure to stabilize the country and its inability to negotiate with the Taliban, which has taken over most of the country’s government and killed thousands of its citizens.
Now the Trump administration is moving to expand its troop presence in the country, and even the NATO ally has signaled it may take a more active role in the conflict.
The war in Afghanistan began in 2001 when the United States, the United Kingdom and France launched a military campaign to topple the Taliban.
The operation was the first war to target the Taliban in Afghanistan, and in its aftermath, the Afghan government, aided by the United Nations, is now in charge.
The Taliban has since been pushed out of most of Afghanistan’s major cities, and the U.S. has largely withdrawn.
But the country is still divided along ethnic and sectarian lines, with the Afghan majority living in a Taliban-held part of the south, and a predominantly Muslim minority in the northern part of Afghanistan.
This has left the United State in a difficult position, given that its troops are the only ones able to effectively fight the Taliban on the ground, and are also fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is known as ISIS.
This week, President Trump said he was willing to go to war against ISIS and the Taliban if that would help secure the country from terrorism.
“It’s a very, very tough fight,” Trump said.
“If we can help get rid of the bad guys, then we can do that.”
He added that he would be willing to give the U,S.
military the option to attack the Taliban’s fighters, who are now in a coalition with the U.,K.
Trump has also said that he might consider deploying a U.N. peacekeeping force to Afghanistan.
“I would certainly consider it, I would consider it,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal this week.
“There is a lot of talk, I’m hearing that, in terms of sending troops in to help.”
The Trump administration has not given any concrete plan for how the U the U-S.
will go about taking on ISIS in Afghanistan.
Trump did say in the interview that he could envision sending special forces troops to Afghanistan, but he has not said whether that would involve deploying special forces soldiers.
NATO, which launched Operation Resolute Support in 2016, has been fighting the Taliban since 2002, and its members have made a number of military advances in Afghanistan in recent years.
In December, NATO announced it had taken control of Afghanistan, though it still has to secure the province of Helmand, which remains under Taliban control.
The NATO mission is being scaled back as the Taliban continue to gain territory.
In 2016, NATO forces conducted more than 8,000 airstrikes in Afghanistan against the Taliban and its allies, according to NATO.
It also announced that it had begun to withdraw from some of the areas in which it had been fighting.
In 2017, NATO took the unprecedented step of announcing that it would no longer take part in a military operation called Resolute Force 2020, which involved hundreds of American troops, with an objective to establish a no-fly zone and stabilize the area.
Trump was reportedly considering a similar proposal, but it remains unclear whether his administration will actually pursue a no fly zone.
The Trump Administration has not announced any plans to expand NATO’s presence in Afghanistan beyond the current mission.
In a statement Thursday, the Trump Administration said that its military strategy for Afghanistan is focused on defeating ISIS and ending the Taliban regime.
But it has not stated whether it will consider an expanded NATO mission in the future.
In May, Trump said that NATO should “be expanded to Afghanistan to help us defeat ISIS, end the Taliban rule, and bring stability to Afghanistan.”
“It is imperative that NATO Allies, including Germany, help us end the ISIS threat in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Trump added.