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September 23, 2017
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Trump commits US to fight on in Afghanistan; no speedy exit

Published: August 2017
 

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WASHINGTON. Reversing his past calls for a speedy exit, President Donald Trump recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan on August 21st, declaring that US troops must “fight to win,” reported the Associated Press, AP.

He pointedly declined to disclose how many more troops will be dispatched to wage America’s longest war.

In a prime-time address to unveil his new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said the US would shift away from a “time-based” approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others. He insisted it would be a “regional” strategy that addressed the roles played by other South Asian nations, especially Pakistan’s harbouring of elements of the Taliban.

“America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress,” Trump said. “However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check.”

Still, Trump offered few details about how progress would be measured. Nor did he explain how his approach would differ substantively from what two presidents before him tried unsuccessfully over the past 16 years.

Although Trump insisted he would “not talk about numbers of troops” or telegraph military moves in advance, he hinted that he’d embraced the Pentagon’s proposal to boost troop numbers by nearly 4,000, augmenting the roughly 8,400 Americans there now, AP added.

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