Trump’s feelings about the war in Afghanistan have changed over time

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President Donald Trump was never a fan of the war in Afghanistan, but as he readies to address the nation during a prime-time broadcast on Monday, he will unveil his plans for Afghanistan and many wonder if his directives will align with his prior position on the topic.

As a candidate, Donald Trump made it clear he felt the United States shouldn’t be involved in a war in Afghanistan, calling America’s involvement there a “wrong decision” during a rally in North Carolina last year.

“For years, we have been caught up in endless wars and conflicts under the leadership of failed politicians and a failed foreign policy establishment in Washington, D.C.,” he said at the rally. “The same people who made every wrong decision in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt, China and Russia are the same people who are advising Hillary Clinton.”

Trump said he would do things differently, vowing to take advice from experts.

“I am proud instead to have the support of our warfighting generals, active duty military officers, and top military experts who know how to win – and know how to keep us out of endless war,” Trump said.

Before he announced his candidacy for president, Donald Trump was using Twitter to express his opinions about Afghanistan. From 2011, Trump sent multiple tweets out on the topic.

In October 2011, he tweeted about America’s priorities: “When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan? We must rebuild our country first.”

The following March, of 2012, he wrote about his dismay with the war’s progress: “Afghanistan is a total disaster. We don’t know what we are doing. They are, in addition to everything else, robbing us blind.”

On Aug. 21, 2012, Trump expressed anger over the death of U.S. soldiers. He wrote: “Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back? Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!”

Earlier that month, a Fox News report said “at least thirty coalition service members have died this year at the hands of Afghan forces or insurgents disguised in Afghan uniforms.” The statistic came on the heels of a new report about three members of the U.S. Marine Special Operations Forces in southern Afghanistan who were fatally shot by an Afghan police officer.

Trump expressed a similar sentiment the following year, writing: “Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.”

Donald Trump kept suggesting withdrawal through 2013. Wary of the prospect of keeping 20,000 troops in Afghanistan for “many” additional years, on Nov. 20, 2013, he tweeted: “Afghanistan leaders want the U.S. to keep 20, 000 troops there for many more years, fully paid for by the U.S., but first they want apology.”

Early the next morning, he tweeted another message, this one targeting the leadership in America. He wrote: “Do not allow our very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in Afghanistan through 2024-with all costs by U.S.A. MAKE AMERICA GREAT!”

Later, on the same day, he sent another message, imploring America’s leaders to withdraw: “We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out!

Donald Trump also advised Obama through Twitter after Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai challenged the Obama administration’s security pact. According to Brietbart:

“We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out!” Trump said after Karzai’s bluster. “Can you believe that ‘President’ Karzai of Afghanistan is holding out for more, more, more and refuses to sign deal? Tell him to go to hell!”

Trump also encouraged a speedy withdrawal of troops in 2013. “Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.!” he wrote, as well as, “We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives. If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick. Rebuild the US first.”

He also tweeted his dismay that troops remained in Afghanistan in December 2014, tweeting: “Now Obama is keeping our soldiers in Afghanistan for at least another year. He is losing two wars simultaneously.”

During a speech in New Hampshire in 2015, Trump was outraged that Obama set a date for the departure of U.S. troops, giving the Taliban the information.

“As soon as we left, they knocked the sh*t out of everybody!” Trump said during the speech. He said he “would never have given a date.”

More recently, on Aug. 18, 2017, Trump met with his national security team and the following day tweeted: “Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented Generals and military leaders. Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan.”

President Trump may clarify America’s stance on Afghanistan tonight, having new knowledge of the situation as president and not a private citizen or candidate. He speaks Monday night at 9 p.m. ET.

h/t Breitbart

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