As a tentative peace deal between the US and Afghanistan is in the works, CBN News is getting new insight into what might keep the US in the Middle East fighting what some call "forever wars."
"It's not the decision-makers that are keeping us in these forever wars," said Michael Pregent, Middle East intelligence expert and a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute told CBN News. "It's the experts that are advising them. Will ten-year-old Americans be in Iraq 10 years from now? Yes, unless we get it right."
The US has been fighting in Afghanistan for 19 years, across three presidential administrations. Pregent says during that time advisors, who tend to outlive terms of elected officials, have been lobbying for the status quo.
He said he saw this during a recent Pentagon briefing the day after the US killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
"There were several people that should not have been in that room who were experts but really advocating for their own business interests," Pregent revealed. "And I've started a group called 'Veterans Against Forever Wars' where we're going to start vetting these experts that are briefing the US government to see whether or not they have business interests in these countries."
Pregent also offered insight on President Trump's communication strategy, especially on Twitter. For example, after Iran threatened revenge for Soleimani's death, a presidential tweet threatened Iranian cultural sites.
That drew massive criticism because such an attack would violate international law. Pregent explained the tweet carried a deeper purpose.
"Because the regime had moved their nuclear sites into what they considered protected areas which are cultural sites," Pregent noted. "So that message was for Tehran, not a message to DC or our European allies, that first message he sent was for the Iranian people, the regime."
Pregent told CBN News the President will typically follow up with a message intended more for the people as he did in a tweet about a week later saying "To the leaders of Iran - do not kill your protesters…stop the killing of your great Iranian people!"
He said it's all an effort of the President's part to garner support from civilians at home and abroad as the so-called forever wars rage on.