In his speech Monday evening, Trump announced he will not pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, saying he’s committed to a new strategy aimed at winning the nation’s longest war.
DML NEWS polled its readership on Tuesday morning, asking them if they are disappointed in the president’s decision to remain in the longest war in American history.
Immediate reaction was in Trump’s favor, with more than 70% saying they support the decision to add new troops and to stay committed to the fight against terrorism that festers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But not everyone agrees.
DML NEWS has pulled together some of what is being written in various publications about the speech.
The speech was a disappointment to many who had supported his calls during the campaign to end expensive foreign intervention and nation-building.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
In a 30-minute nationally televised speech, Mr. Trump acknowledged that his initial instinct as president had been to pull out of Afghanistan. But, concluding he must bow to realities, he outlined a new South Asia strategy predicated on the need to remain engaged in the region.
The address represented a sharp reversal for Mr. Trump on Afghanistan, where he has long opposed U.S. military involvement. In setting aside his impulses to withdraw, Mr. Trump acceded to advisers who urged the U.S. to step up efforts to combat extremists and militants and support the Afghan military in the nearly 16-year-old war.
THE WASHINGTON POST
Trump’s decision to further commit to the nation’s longest war, rather than withdraw, reflects a significant shift in his approach to Afghanistan since taking office and marks a new willingness to take greater ownership of a protracted conflict that he had long dismissed as a waste of time and resources. As a candidate, Trump denounced Afghanistan as a “total disaster” and railed that the costly conflict in Central Asia drained enormous resources at a time of more pressing needs at home for American taxpayers.
A spokesman for the Taliban criticized President Trump’s nationally televised address Monday night on his initiative to achieve lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region.
Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesman, said in an interview that Trump’s “whole speech was old.” He said the Taliban needs more time to issue a more precise response, but he said Trump’s policy outline is “unclear.”
President Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan reflects the lack of viable options for winning a war that has dragged on for nearly 16 years with no end in sight.
President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy — more troops, pressure on Pakistan and diplomatic outreach to the Taliban — relies on tactics his predecessors tried without success to get out of America’s longest-running war.
There’s little reason to think Trump’s approach will produce better results.
A good portion of Trump’s speech was devoted to criticizing the decisions of past administrations, spreading blame for Afghanistan on the choices made by former Presidents Bush and Obama.
“When I became president I was given a bad and very complex hand,” Trump asserted. “No one denies that we have inherited a challenging and troubling situation in Afghanistan and South Asia, but we do not have the luxury of going back in time and making different or better decisions.”
At the end of the day, this is Trump concluding that he doesn’t want to lose a war on his watch, and if that means jettisoning some of his presuppositions, he’s willing to do it. If only President Obama had handled the question of whether or not to pull out of Iraq the same way.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
On Monday night, Mr. Trump finally put forward a broader strategy for Afghanistan, one that would require thousands more American troops but place more conditions on the Afghan government. His decision, several officials said, was less a change of heart than a weary acceptance of the case, made during three months of intense White House debate by the military leaders who dominate his war cabinet.
President Donald Trump used a speech ostensibly focused on his decision about the future of America’s role in Afghanistan to issue a call for unity and healing in the United States, a clear attempt to patch over the damage caused by his repeated unwillingness to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis following their violent protests in Charlottesville.
President Donald Trump announced a new approach — but no details — for the U.S. war in Afghanistan on Monday, marking a major policy reversal for the man who in recent years had insisted America pull out of the war-torn country.
President Donald Trump announced a new plan for Afghanistan Monday night with calls for additional U.S. forces, greater NATO participation and regional pressure that held echoes of the previous administrations even as the president said his way forward would be a much more aggressive plan that delivers results.
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