We now know that Russia has been paying a cash bounty for the killing of US troops in Afghanistan and that our government was both aware of the situation and took no action to combat it. 1/
I'm shocked and amazed at the number of Trump supporters who completely independently, all on their own, came up with the exact same (sometimes word for word) defense of Trump on this issue all on the same day, independently. 2/
But I'll give the sheep the benefit of the doubt for a moment and assume that they needed no pre approved talking points spoon fed to them to come up with their inane questions about what America could or should have done in response. 3/
What should Trump have done is not a simple question that has a single simple answer. There are at *least* four different elements to a proper response to the news that a foreign power is paying insurgents to target American troops abroad. 4/
1) Diplomatic pressure - When the President learns that a foreign power is paying for the death of American soldiers, there should be an immediate diplomatic response which could include economic sanctions to expulsion of diplomats. 5/
2) Direct military response - Trump was given a menu of potential military actions in response to the news that Russia was paying insurgent forces in Afghanistan for the death of our troops, and he chose to do none of them.
We don't know what those military options were and it's possible that deescalation was the better option, in conjunction with diplomatic pressure, but there is no evidence of either of those occurring.
The President could also have adjusted our military presence in Afghanistan either to deescalate or to increase pressure on the insurgents, while alerting our troops to the danger. He did neither.
3) International pressure - At the start of the Trump administration there was a robust international alliance involved in Afghanistan that could have been used to put heavy pressure on Putin to knock it off.
Even after three years of Trump systematically weakening our relationships with countries who are in even better position to impose financial penalties on Russia, it's hard to imagine that there isn't enough goodwill left to bring overwhelming pressure to bear.
4) Domestic pressure - The President could have brought enormous domestic pressure to bear against Russia for its actions in Afghanistan that would have led to increased sanctions, threats of military reprisals, or more.
Trump had a large menu of options to choose from, and he chose to do nothing. The result was dead American soldiers with nothing to show for it. Defend that.
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