President Trump’s Afghanistan policy, announced on Monday night, has been the subject of major discussion in the political community. Trump’s decision to send an additional 4,000 troops to the war-torn Middle Eastern nation has been a dividing point within the two major parties. As Business Insider and Fox News reported, many within Trump’s base are taken aback by the decision, while many of the President’s biggest detractors are supportive.
One former Special Forces Officer praised Trump’s action regarding Afghanistan. Green Beret Michael Waltz, who served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan, appeared on Fox News to applaud Trump for preventing the creation of a vacuum into which ISIS would move in–if the US military were to withdraw.
On Monday, Trump told the nation that he has approved an increase of 4,000 troops in Afghanistan to quell the Taliban and ISIS, as well as to train the Afghan military to be able to deal with these threats independently.
In addition, the Trump policy will push neighboring Pakistan to do more to stop these threats, while further involving the aid of India, one of the US’ closest allies in the region.
Waltz, who served as a commander of US Army Special Forces (Green Berets) in Afghanistan and is the author of the book Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret’s Battles from Washington to Afghanistan, told Fox News’ Bret Baier that Trump made the right decision despite the Afghanistan situation being “incredibly difficult.”
Waltz argued that nation-building and large-scale invasions are not the answer to success in Afghanistan. But he also asserted that a complete withdrawal from the home of al Qaeda is not feasible.
For Waltz, drawing an “arbitrary” timeline for troop withdrawal would only create the type of power vacuum which enabled the growth of the Islamic State in Iraq. A lack of US troops, Waltz says, would facilitate the dangerous ascension of the Taliban and ISIS.
As reported by Politico, Trump has been highly critical of former President Obama’s sudden withdrawal from Iraq, leading him to call his predecessor the “founder of ISIS.” Waltz believes Trump’s decision to send more troops to the war-torn nation is an attempt to avoid the mistakes of the previous administration.
“We’re going to see some strategy shift here, but at the end of the day, we could not withdraw,” Waltz said. “We could not just do what we did in Iraq and let the Islamic State move into Afghanistan and still attack Europe and still attack the United States.” He concluded that maintaining a presence in Afghanistan is the only way to prevent terrorism in the US.
“At the end of the day, do we want to fight them in Kandahar and Kabul or do we want to fight them in Kansas City?” Waltz asked. The veteran-author is not the only public figure congratulating Trump. According to The Daily Caller, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who has been critical of Trump since the Republican primaries, expressed satisfaction with the Trump policy and declared that any lawmaker who votes against the surge will “own” the next 9/11.
President Trump announced a plan to send 4000 troops to Afghanistan. Do you agree with this decision?
The decision was met with discord by Trump’s base. Breitbart, which has been heavily Pro-Trump and is now once again headed by Trump’s recently-outed chief political strategist Steve Bannon, ran a piece decrying the President’s “flip-flop” on Afghanistan.
Middle Eastern policy is a continual point of contention, with both the Democrat and Republican parties having pro-interventionist and non-interventionist factions within them. Time will tell whether Trump’s move is the solution to an unclear Afghanistan problem.