Donald Trump Echoes Obama ‘Blank Check’ Rhetoric in Afghanistan Speech

President Donald Trump announced his new strategy on Afghanistan Monday night, vowing he would end former President Barack Obama’s cautious and restrictive rules of warfare.

But the president specifically echoed his predecessor’s 2009 speech, after acknowledging that the war had gone on too long.

“Our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check,” Trump said. “The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden. The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress, and real results.”

In his 2009 speech on Afghanistan, Obama said something similar:

“This effort must be based on performance,” he said. “The days of providing a blank check are over.”

Despite 16 years of “blood and treasure” spent in Afghanistan, the United States has no end in sight for the longest war in American history.

“I share the American people’s frustration,” Trump said. “I also share their frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money, and most importantly lives, trying to rebuild countries in our own image instead of pursuing our security interests above all other considerations.”


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