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Trump to address nation on new strategy in Afghanistan

Trump ordered his national security team to come up with a new path forward, to include an eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces

(National SentinelWar: President Donald J. Trump has settled on a new strategy moving forward in Afghanistan and will address the nation Monday night to explain it.

The U.S. has waged a low-intensity conflict in Afghanistan since approximately one month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, making it the country’s longest war. The government of Afghanistan at the time, the Taliban, were targeted because they were harboring Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks.

But after 16 years — and with it looking as though the U.S. had no real end-game strategy — Trump ordered his national security team to come up with a new path forward, to include an eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces. The White House says he’s now settled on that strategy.

As Fox News reports:

Trump will “provide an update on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia” at 9 p.m. ET, the White House said. The president is scheduled to speak from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.

The president hinted Saturday that he and top U.S. generals have agreed on a new strategy for America’s longest war, after huddling Friday at the presidential Camp David retreat.

“Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented Generals and military leaders,” Trump tweeted. “Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan.”

Since taking office, Trump has considered several options for Afghanistan, from sending in additional troops to walking away from the war, an unlikely move considering U.S. concerns about thwarting Islamic terrorism.

Solutions have not come easy. Any strategy going forward has to include measures aimed at thwarting international terrorism in a way that advances prospects for peace, and the Taliban — who have made gains recently as U.S. forces receded — are not interested in a negotiated peace settlement.

Fox News also noted:

The administration has said its Afghanistan strategy will be informed by a review of its approach to the broader region, including Pakistan and India. The Taliban have long used Pakistan as a sanctuary, complicating efforts to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan and stabilize the country. The region includes other actors who pose political problems for Washington, including Iran, which has influence in western Afghanistan.

The U.S. has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan. Their primary roles are to train and advise Afghan forces and to hunt down and kill members of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups, the news network reported.

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