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Our longest war: Will Trump change anything?

EDITORIAL
August 22. 2017 10:06PM


The United States has been sending brave men and women to fight in Afghanistan for nearly 16 years. More than 2,400 have died there.

Toppling the Taliban proved to be much easier than protecting the country from warlords and Islamic extremists, who would turn back into a safe haven for terrorists.

President Donald Trump on Monday announced he is sending more troops to Afghanistan, reportedly 4,000 requested by Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Trump disappointed supporters who liked his criticism of Bush and Obama administration foreign policy interventions.

For some reason, they expected a candidate who promised to “bomb the (expletive) out of ISIS” to show restraint once he was commander in chief.

Having enough American troops to build up Afghan forces to self-sufficiency is important. So is lifting the restrictive rules of engagement that the Obama administration imposed on U.S forces in order to satisfy the Afghan government.

The military must work to limit civilian casualties, but the only humane way to fight a war is to win it quickly.

Equally important is Trump putting Pakistan on notice for providing safe haven to the Taliban and other Islamic radicals.

Trump offered few details on what his new approach will actually be. He and Mattis will be judged by their results.


Politics Afghanistan Editorial