Speed Reads

afghanistan strategy

Trump lays out Afghanistan strategy: 'We are not nation-building again'

In a televised address, President Trump on Monday shared his strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, saying the United States military is "not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists."

Speaking in front of an audience of soldiers at Ft. Myer, Virginia, Trump said the American people are "weary of war without victory," and he "shares their frustration." When it comes to Afghanistan, while his original instinct was to pull all troops out, he listened to his advisers and came up with a new strategy, Trump said, but will never reveal the number of troops on the ground in the country or announce upcoming military actions. Trump is also expanding authority for American armed forces to "target terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan," he said.

Trump said he will not set a timetable on when to withdraw troops, instead using a conditions-based approach, and he said undefined economic development in Afghanistan will help defray America's cost. The U.S. must "seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifice of lives," Trump said, and the "consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable."