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Trump Defends His Military Policy in Afghanistan

NEW YORK (TOLO News): US president Donald Trump on Thursday said that everyone in the United States is talking about the progress the US military forces have made in Afghanistan since he took office as president.

“Everybody is talking about the progress you’ve made in Afghanistan since I opened it up, and you’ve turned it around in the last three-to-five months like nobody has seen,” Trump said in the Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Afghanistan.

Trump also hailed US marine corps unit serving in Iraq and thanked them for their struggle against Daesh.

“What you are doing with ISIS is again being talked about — with armed forces, we’re really winning. We know how to win, but we have to let you win. You weren’t winning before. They were letting you play even. We want to let you win,” Trump said, referencing the Obama administration.

This comes three months after Trump outlined a revised vision for the US war in Afghanistan, pledging to end a strategy of nation building and instead focus on a policy aimed more pressure on the militant groups including the Taliban.

On the basis of the new strategy, Trump also pledged to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

“Our troops will fight to win,” Trump said. “From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over the country, and stopping mass terror attacks against Americans before they emerge.” He said while announcing the new war strategy.

In the new war strategy, Trump also criticized Pakistan role in the fight against terrorism.

“Third and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense. Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan — the highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world,” he said.

“For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict. And that could happen,” he said.

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, America’s interests are clear: We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America, and we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists and being used against us, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

But Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Thursday said the Afghan government sees no significant change in Pakistan’s policy towards insurgents, even after US President Donald Trump announced his new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

No change has occurred in Pakistan’s policy towards the insurgents and instead relations between Kabul and Islamabad have further deteriorated, MoFA deputy spokesman Sibghat Ahmadi said on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, no change has occurred and no results were achieved, our relations with Pakistan are getting worse each day and ties are deteriorating,” said Ahmadi.

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