Speaking of training the wrong army.

Speaking of training the wrong army.

In another sign of how bad the security situation in Afghanistan has become, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops there wants to put the brakes on plans to reduce the American troop presence over the next year. The request is a familiar one, as every U.S. commander in Afghanistan for the past 14 years has said that more troops, or more time, are crucial to stabilizing the country.

It’s actually Gen. John Campbell’s second request to extend the mission there since October. At the time, President Barack Obama reversed his decision to pull out all but 1,000 embassy security personnel by the end of 2016. Instead, 9,800 U.S. troops will remain through most of 2016 before drawing down to about 5,500. Now, Campbell wants to keep as many of those 9,800 troops for as long as possible.

But with a grim new report from the Defense Department finding that over the second half of 2015, the “security situation in Afghanistan deteriorated,” with a resurgent Taliban and a growing Islamic State presence -- even al Qaeda appears to be back -- plenty of questions remain over what several thousand trainers and a small handful of commandos can accomplish.

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