Trump: We’re Basing Afghanistan Strategy on Conditions – ‘We Are Not Nation-Building Again’

During a speech on Monday, President Trump announced a shift in the US’ policy in Afghanistan to one based on conditions on the ground instead of timetables and declared that the US isn’t nation-building again.

The president warned of the dangers of a hasty withdrawal and stated the US can’t make the same mistakes in Afghanistan that it did in pulling out of Iraq.

Trump announced that strategy will shift from one based on time to one based on conditions on the ground, and that it is “counterproductive” to give starting and end dates for military engagements.

He added, “We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities.”

Another pillar of the Afghanistan strategy Trump stated is integrating all the American instruments of diplomacy, economics, and military “towards a successful outcome.” He further stated that it is possible to have a political settlement that could include elements of the Taliban, but it’s unsure when that will happen, if it ever does.

He further vowed to support Afghanistan’s government and military as they fight the Taliban. Trump continued that the people of Afghanistan must take control of their own future and the US will not dictate how Afghanistan should be governed, stating, “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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