Poll: Do you agree with the President’s current policy on Afghanistan?
S President Donald Trump is doubling down on Afghanistan, despite his own admitted instinct to withdraw from America’s longest war.
“We will fight to win,” he said in a speech at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, taking a strident tone and indicating the US would expand its presence in Afghanistan but offering few specific details on how it would do so.
“America’s enemies must never know our plans, or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will,” said Trump, before a crowd of US troops.
While he admitted he previously favored withdrawal, Trump said doing so would dishonor the US troops who died in Afghanistan and could create a vacuum that would allow terrorist networks to expand.
Harsh words for Pakistan
In setting out what he described as a new approach to the 16-year campaign, Trump had harsh words for US ally Pakistan, saying Washington could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations.”
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists we are fighting … that must change immediately,” Trump added.
He also called on Pakistan’s regional rival India, to “help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistant and development.”
“We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan but India makes billions of dollars in trade from the United States and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.”
In response to Trump’s pledge, the Taliban issued a defiant statement, saying the US should have thought about withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan instead of prolonging the war.
“It looks like the US still doesn’t want to put an end to its longest war. Instead of understanding the facts and realities, (Trump) still shows pride for his power and military forces,” the statement said, vowing Taliban forces would keep fighting to free Afghanistan of “American invaders.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed Trump’s statement and his “affirmation of support for our efforts to achieve self-reliance and for our joint struggle to rid the region from the threat of terrorism.”
“The US-Afghan partnership is stronger than ever in overcoming the threat of terrorism that threatens us all,” Ghani said in a statement Tuesday, adding the “objective of peace is paramount.”
Our question is, do you agree with the President’s current policy on Afghanistan?