Trump Approach to Afghan War Welcomed By Its Leaders By Jalaluddin Jamshidy
President Donald Trump recently announced his long awaited policy position toward the war in Afghanistan. Trump will increase troops on the ground, though he didn’t want to specify how many. 4,000 appears to be the approximate number, which constitutes a shift in Trump’s thinking.
At the same time, President Trump emphasized that “we are not nation building again, we are killing terrorists.” He pledged to integrate “instruments of American power – diplomatic, economic and military” to win the longest war in American history and assist the Afghan government in building sustainable peace and stability.
President Trump also explicitly moved from a time based approach to the war to a condition based one. In the past, Trump has frequently criticized political leaders for speaking about troop levels and the timing of military operations.
Secretary Mattis and H.R. McMaster were instrumental in this new approach. Both “urged Trump to take a more aggressive effort to fight terrorist groups in Afghanistan.”
As a result, U.S. spending on the war in Afghanistan will rise. The president proposed spending over $840 billion in his fiscal year 2018 budget approval.
President Trump also warned Pakistan for its longstanding support of various terrorist groups. “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe-havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.” President Trump suggested Pakistan “has much to gain” by fully cooperating against shared cause.
The Afghan government warmly welcomed revised U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, pledging their full cooperation. President Ghani stated, “I am grateful to President Trump and the American people for this affirmation of support for our efforts to achieve self-reliance and for our joint struggle to rid the region from the threats of terrorism.” Afghan Chief executive Abudllah called Trump’s strategy “a new chapter in our relations.”
America’s new approach gives hope to the Afghan people and government who fight various terrorist groups at great risk. The Taliban has increased their attacks utilizing different inhuman tactics including massacre.
The U.S. and Afghan government must also seek every possible diplomatic option to convince the Taliban to engage in peace negotiations. Most importantly, the Afghan people must maintain their solidarity and utilize every possible instrument building their nation.
Jalaluddin Jamshidy is a government student at Utica College.