Afghanistan welcomes Trump’s stay ‘without time limit’


Afghanistan Tuesday welcomed President Donald Trump’s speech clearing the way for thousands more US troops to be deployed in the country, backtracking on his election promise rapidly to quit America’s longest war.
In a speech to troops in southern Kandahar, birthplace of the Taliban, President Ashraf Ghani said Trump’s first formal address as commander-in-chief late Monday showed that America was “with us, without any time limit”.
“You cannot win this war,” Ghani told the Taliban, calling on them to join talks and saying that Afghanistan wants peace with neighbouring Pakistan, long accused of fuelling the insurgency. Trump pilloried US ally Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos”. He discarded his previous criticism of the 16-year-old war as a waste of time and money, admitting things looked different from “behind the desk in the Oval Office”.
“My instinct was to pull out,” Trump said as he spoke of his frustration with a war that has killed thousands of US troops and cost US taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
But following months of deliberation, Trump said he had concluded “the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable” a vacuum which terrorists “would instantly fill”. While Trump refused to offer detailed troop numbers, senior White House officials said he had already authorised his defence secretary to deploy up to 3,900 more troops to Afghanistan.
Trump warned that the approach would now be more pragmatic than idealistic. Security assistance to Afghanistan was “not a blank check” he said, adding: “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.”


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