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politics

Trump Addresses The Nation About U.S. Strategy For Afghan War

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 Gaga Monster   Paws Up 12,427
Gaga Monster

 

President Trump put forward on Monday a long-awaited strategy for resolving the nearly 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, but he failed to specify either the number of troops that would be committed, or the conditions by which he would judge the success of their mission there.

In a nationally televised prime-time speech to troops at Fort Myer, Va., Mr. Trump said there would be no “blank check” for the American presence in Afghanistan. But in announcing his plan, Mr. Trump embraced deepened American involvement in a military mission that has bedeviled his predecessors and that he once called futile.

“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts,” Mr. Trump said. “But all my life, I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office — in other words, when you’re president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle.”

Mr. Trump campaigned for president promising to extricate the United States from foreign conflicts, and many of the steps that he announced Monday have been proposed by previous administrations.

He portrayed the strategy as a stark break with the Obama administration, arguing that while his predecessor set artificial timetables for American involvement in Afghanistan, his strategy would be a comprehensive, conditions-based regional approach that would aim for a political solution there. Part of the plan is to deploy more American troops to Afghanistan to continue to train Afghan forces there, with the goal of persuading the Taliban — which have recently gained substantial ground in the war — that they could not win on the battlefield.

“The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable,” Mr. Trump said. “A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and Al Qaeda, where they would instantly fill just as happened before Sept. 11.”

Mr. Trump said that the United States would put significant new pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the terrorist sanctuaries that line its border with Afghanistan. His comments could open a turbulent new chapter in relations with Pakistan, which has veered since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks from being an ally in the fight against terrorism to a haven in which Osama bin Laden hid out until he was killed in 2011.

By refusing to place a number on troops or to specify benchmarks for success, Mr. Trump was in essence shielding himself for potential backlash from his political base and from the American public, which has grown weary of the war.

The president heaped contempt on his predecessor’s strategy, promising that he would avoid President Barack Obama’s mistakes. But in substance, Mr. Trump’s strategy was not all that different, relying on a mix of conventional military force and diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. One administration official conceded that there was to be no major change in the mix of American forces operating in Afghanistan, and that the priorities would remain training Afghan forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.

Mr. Trump spoke of launching an intensive diplomatic and economic initiative, but he does so from a position of acute weakness at the State Department, which has yet to place an ambassador in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, and scrapped the office of the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

An estimated 8,400 American troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan, most assigned to an approximately 13,000-strong international force that is training and advising the Afghan military. About 2,000 American troops are tasked with carrying out counterterrorism missions along with Afghan forces against groups like the Islamic State’s affiliate.

In recent days, Trump administration aides hinted that the president’s strategy would include new steps to pressure neighboring Pakistan to shut down the sanctuaries there for the Taliban and other militants, a goal Republican and Democratic administrations have pursued for years with little success.

Trump administration officials have also suggested that continued American military involvement and economic assistance in Afghanistan would be contingent on steps by the country’s leaders in Kabul to rein in rampant corruption — another Western aspiration that has repeatedly been dashed in the country, parts of which have been largely lawless for decades.

The move comes with steep risks for Mr. Trump, potentially increasing American troops without yielding many military gains in a conflict that has proved intractable. Still, United States military and intelligence officials have argued that doing nothing in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are increasingly gaining ground, is not an option. In February, Gen. John W. Nicholson, the commander of the American-led international force in Afghanistan, told Congress that the United States and its NATO allies were facing a “stalemate.”

Read More Here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/world/asia/afghanistan-troops-trump.html

Edited by Gaga Monster
GGD Presidential Elections

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PartySick   Paws Up 32,459
PartySick

So yet another campaign "promise" goes down the drain :sharon:

Like, the reasoning is ok I guess. I'm glad that he's listening to the professionals, I'm just saying :laughga:

The president heaped contempt on his predecessor’s strategy, promising that he would avoid President Barack Obama’s mistakes. But in substance, Mr. Trump’s strategy was not all that different, relying on a mix of conventional military force and diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. One administration official conceded that there was to be no major change in the mix of American forces operating in Afghanistan, and that the priorities would remain training Afghan forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.

No wonder it sounds sane. Obama did it :applause:

Edited by PartySick
  • Like 1
1, 5, 10, lay a million WP's on you fools

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