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Trump hints at ‘decision’ on Afghanistan strategy

Trump hints at ‘decision’ on Afghanistan strategy

Washington D.C. [United States]: United States President Donald Trump on Saturday indicated that he has made a decision on the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan following high level meeting with his national security team at Camp David.

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

However, Trump did not make any announcement highlighting what the strategy is after the meeting.
The meeting was attended by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Director of CIA Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

The Washington Post quoted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as saying that Trump had been briefed extensively and was studying and considering his options and will make an announcement at the appropriate time.

Earlier, Trump had termed Afghanistan issue as ‘a mess’ which he took over from the previous administration and said his administration is getting close to a decision on an updated strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Taliban has sent an “open letter” to President Donald Trump, calling on the United States to leave Kabul rather than increase the number of troops to end America’s longest war of 17 years in Afghanistan.

Through a letter, Taliban militants has urged Trump to interact with Afghans “generously” instead of imposing war, study the “historical mistakes” of his predecessors and withdraw troops from Afghanistan completely.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has sent a copy of the letter to the media.

Mujahid advised Trump to avoid giving the responsibility of formulating U.S. Afghan policy to his military but rather, announce the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces and not an increase in troops as the Trump administration has planned.

Trump is frustrated that the U.S. is losing war in Afghanistan, is now considering to replace Gen. John Nicholson, who has been commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan since March 2016.In February, Nicholson was the first to call the war a stalemate and said he needed a few thousand more troops to break it.

About 1,600 words long letter drew attention of U.S. President saying that pulling out of Afghanistan would “truly deliver American troops from harm’s way” and bring about “an end to an inherited war.”

Terming Afghanistan as ‘a mess’ that he took over from the previous administration, Trump said that his administration is getting close to a decision on an updated strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis has indicated that Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan would have a regional context, including a Pakistan angle. The new Afghan strategy may include sending close to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and also changing somewhat what the troops on the ground are doing right now”.

The Afghan government was assessed by the US military to control or influence just 59.7 per cent of Afghanistan’s 407 districts as of Feb 20, a nearly 11 percentage-point decrease from the same time in 2016, according to data released by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Dawn reported

U.S. National Security Adviser Gen H.R. McMaster conveyed the stern message of President Donald Trump to Pakistan to change its ‘paradoxical’ policy of supporting the Taliban, Haqqani network and other militants who are causing the country great losses.

The U.S. officials have often accused Pakistan of helping the militants, a charge Islamabad vehemently denies, but this marks the first time that the allegation has been attributed to President Trump. (ANI)