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Donald Trump unveils new plan for Afghanistan and might have pissed off his base

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Donald Trump

In front of troops at Fort Myer in Virginia and a Nation whose now seen the United States’ longest overseas conflict, Donald Trump laid out his administrations plan for the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

During the Nationally televised speech, Trump made several statements that essentially went back on past criticisms when it came to Afghanistan. This criticism was especially prevalent prior to his campaign as he often times took to Twitter venting about training Afghan troops, the lack of appreciation from the Afghani government and how there needs to be a “speedy withdrawal”.

So to say the least, Trump’s tweets on Afghanistan didn’t age very well.

Trump’s tone however changed once he hit the campaign trail. Instead of calling for that “speedy withdrawal” No. 45 instead targeted the money “wasted” and how the United States should engage in some old school colonialism by mining that country’s resources to recoup the cost of the war.

Via the Washington Post:

“We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place,” Trump told CNN in October 2015. “It’s a mess. It’s a mess, and at this point we probably have to because that thing will collapse in about two seconds after they leave. … I would leave the troops there begrudgingly. Believe me, I’m not happy about it.”

Money however doesn’t seem to be an issue this time around as candidate Trump is now President Trump.

Instead of withdrawing from Afghanistan or reducing troop numbers, Trump will instead increase the numbers of American service men and women after discussions with military officials.

Via BuzzFeed:

“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts,” Trump said. “But all my life I have heard decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you are president of the United States.”

Although Trump didn’t name a specific number of troops added to the battle, several media outlets have mentioned that an additional 3,900 military personnel will be headed back to Afghanistan. The troop increase was reportedly approved back in June while Trump aides recently have been dropping hints recently, according to the New York Times that additional servicemen and women may soon find their way once again engaged in the United States’ longest serving war.

Moreover, Trump continued to outline his administrations plan Afghanistan by giving more autonomy to military commanders in the field and not “(micromanage) from Washington DC”. This included calling on countries like India and Pakistan to do more in the region while not setting a timed deadline for troop removal.

And although Trump received praise from GOP members on the Hill, Trump drew criticism from news outlets on the right.

Breitbart, whose been a staunch supporter of Trump’s policies called his latest plan a “flip-flop”, and echoed the President’s potentially unhappy base who may have been in part sold on that “America First” policy.


Trump also tried to clean up his comments from last week on Charlottesville where he drew  moral equivalency between Neo-Nazi’s and those counter-protesting white supremacy and anti-Semitism.

However, the damage has more than likely already been done to Trump when it comes to that moral equivalency and false equivalents made last week. Especially after he not once, but twice gave a sick legitimacy to White Nationalists within a three-day period. Add to that the potential growing problems Trump could inhibit with his base and we could very well see more problems on the horizon for this President, despite the pivot to Afghanistan.

 

About Adam Hernandez

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