How last night’s announcement for a troop increase in Afghanistan proves the age old rule; completely withdrawing from a foreign war is harder than any president thinks!
You don’t have to look far to dig-up old tweets of President Donald Trump criticizing military action in Afghanistan:
84% of US troops wounded & 70% of our brave men & women killed in Afghanistan have all come under Obama. Time to get out of there.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2012
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2013
And we found those two tweets with just a simple two-minute Google search! Trust us when we say, President Trump has tweeted a lot about military action in Afghanistan over the years! Even during the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump had made troop reduction a major campaign promise:
Yet as the above video shows, President Trump’s message on troop reduction focused specifically on Iraq and not Afghanistan; but the message was clear, Trump would not be one of those presidents that would send troops to foreign lands. While most of President Trump’s promises have fell to the wayside – the repeal of Obamacare, beginning construction of the Mexico/US wall, ect – the reduction in troops on foreign soil looked to be one that he would keep. Well, about that…
President Trump announced that the US would be stepping up their military efforts in Afghanistan, specifically in the increase in troop numbers. While his speech last night did have the tough rhetoric that we now expect from a President Trump speech, it had very little in terms of specific details. While President Trump insists that a new strategy for Afghanistan is in place, and refused to talk about specifics (more on that in a bit), the basics of the Afghanistan strategy looks to be about the same as before.
In terms of broad strokes, the major points President Trump touted are similar to past presidential administrations dealings with Afghanistan which include:
- Using American ground troops to stabilize the region
Trying to get Pakistan to be tougher on terrorist suspects that retreat within their borders
Trying to get surrounding countries around Afghanistan to have more agency in the situation
It was obvious from President Trump’s speech that he didn’t want to “own” the Afghanistan problem that both Presidents Bush and Obama had. A part of that was to keep the specifics regarding the Afghanistan plan private, but in reality that’s almost impossible.
While President Trump does have the power to escalate or de-escalate the number of troops in a certain region, Congress still has to authorize funding for the troop increase. The estimates from congressional officials believe that the troop surge will be around 4,000 additional troops. If this is true, that isn’t that significant troop increase when compared to Obama’s Afghanistan troop increase; but one way or another, President Trump’s troop surge in Afghanistan will be revealed. Whether President Trump likes it or not, Afghanistan is his war now.
(Photo Credit: White House YouTube Channel)