Trump is signaling that he may pull American troops out of Afghanistan.
This is a major development, considering how long the United States has maintained a presence in the Middle Eastern country.
Trump Ready to Leave Afghanistan: At a Certain Point You Have to Say ‘Enough’
President Donald Trump expressed on Tuesday his willingness for the United States to draw down forces in Afghanistan.
“We’ve been a peacekeeper there, in a way, for 19 years and at a certain point, you have to say, ‘That’s long enough,’” Trump said.
The president commented to reporters during a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the White House.
“We’re not really fighting, we’re almost a police force over there, it’s been so many years … we’re not supposed to be a police force,” he said.
Trump recalled visiting wounded members of the armed forces who continued to serve in Afghanistan despite the ongoing conflict.
“I go to Walter Reed and I see young men that step on a bomb and they lose their legs, they lose their arms, and in some case, they lose both and their face on top of it, and they’re living,” he said.
Trump met last week with military advisers about negotiating a withdrawal of some troops in the region.
Vice President Mike Pence attended the meeting with Trump, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Defense Secretary Mike Esper, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph Dunford, and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
This op-ed from USA Today, makes an excellent point:
Two decades after 9/11 and al-Qaida ruined, there’s no need for USA to stay in Afghanistan
On Sept. 18, 2001, President George W. Bush signed an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that gave approval to begin the war in Afghanistan. The language was simple: The president was authorized to use force against all those who planned or aided the 9/11 attacks and terrorists who might be plotting future attacks or those who harbor them.
After nearly two decades, thousands of lives lost, and al-Qaida brought to ruin, there is no longer any rationale to remain in Afghanistan. The country is on the threshold of a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban to secure the country. Because the Taliban will likely require the removal of U.S. troops in any deal they sign, our core national security interests as expressed in the 2001 AUMF will now rest on us leaving — not staying.
The question is not whether we have to wrap up the war in Afghanistan; it’s a question of how rapidly we can do it.
Many Americans agree with this.
We’ve been there long enough.