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What do you think about the US considering expansion of combat operations in Afghanistan?

September 20, 2017

The Pentagon and the White House are reviewing the US strategy for Afghanistan. In particular, the leadership of the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) is considering expanding combat operations in Afghanistan. It is expected that in July 2017, President Donald Trump will be offered to resume military operations against the Taliban and Hakkani Network terrorist organizations. At present, according to official figures, there are about 8400 US troops in Afghanistan, a quarter of them are special forces specializing in fighting jihadis. In total, there are about 12,000 NATO troops in the country. All of them teach Afghan security forces and take part in strikes on “Islamic State” and “Al Qaeda” militants. At the end of 2014, the Alliance’s non-military operations “Resilient Support” came to replace the forces of the international armed coalition. Earlier it was reported that the Donald Trump Administration considers the issue of sending an additional contingent to Afghanistan. Also, the decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan was agreed within NATO.

So, what do you think about the US considering expansion of combat operations in Afghanistan?

  • I support it
  • I don't support it
  • Difficult to say

What is your attitude to Washington’s decision to impose sanctions against China as it helps North Korea?

On June 29, 2017, the US Treasury Department imposed restrictive measures on two Chinese nationals and a Chinese cargo-shipping company Dalian Global Unity Shipping. The wording states that such measures have been taken in connection with the activities in the DPRK’s transport sector. Thus, Li Hongji and Sun Wei were included in the blacklist. The first, in particular, cooperated with a DPRK citizen who was already put on the sanctions list by the US. Li Hongji “set up several dummy companies” and used them for his own purposes. In turn, Sun Wei, according to Washington, “had close ties” with the DPRK’s Foreign Trade Bank, which is under US sanctions. In addition, Washington has accused China’s Dandong Bank of multi-million dollar deals with companies involved in North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. According to the Department of State, the American authorities found that these organizations and people bought or supplied technology to Syria, Iran, and North Korea, the states which contribute to the development of weapons of mass destruction or missiles. Washington’s decisions mean that American citizens and companies are forbidden to do any business with blacklisted companies and people, as well as freezing their assets, if any, in the US banking system. In general, the situation on the Korean peninsula intensified at the beginning of last year, when Pyongyang carried out a nuclear test and launched a ballistic rocket with an Earth satellite. In September 2016, the DPRK conducted another nuclear test and within a year carried out more than 20 missile launches. In the end, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a draft resolution to expand sanctions against North Korea.

So how do you feel about Washington’s decision to impose sanctions against China because of its help to North Korea?

  • I support it
  • I don't support it
  • 50/50, I doubt its effectiveness
  • Difficult to say