This AFP file photo taken on May 3, 2008 shows a US soldier (L) sitting in the rear of a Marine Chinook helicopter while flying over Camp Bastion in Helmand province, southwest of Kabul. (Photo by AFP)
US President Donald Trump is expected to modestly increase the number of American forces fighting the country’s longest war ever in Afghanistan.
The president was expected to announce a modest increase of several thousand troops during a prime time address from the Fort Myer military base on Monday, The Washington Post reported.
Amid concerns among military leadership in regard to battlefield setbacks in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has come up with a new strategy, which Trump is supposed to endorse.
On Saturday, the president and his advisors finalized a new plan for the war-ravaged country at Camp David.
“Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented Generals and military leaders. Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan,” Trump said on Twitter.
The commander in chief’s boost to the 8,500 US service members already in Afghanistan is coming despite Trump’s camping pledge for a “speedy withdrawal” from the war, which he described as a “total disaster.”
Former US President Barack Obama had also promised to evacuate Afghanistan.
“When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan?” he tweeted in 2011. “We must rebuild our country first.”
US President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at Hagerstown Regional Airport in Hagerstown, Maryland, August 18, 2017, as he travels for meetings at Camp David before returning to Bedminster, New Jersey to continue his vacation. (Photo by AFP)
“There’s no easy answers in Afghanistan and no perfect solution,” said Andrew Wilder, an Afghanistan and Pakistan expert at the United States Institute of Peace. “What I hope to hear tonight is not just a focus on troops, but more importantly a political strategy guiding our security strategy. The key focus must be how do we shift from winning the war against the Taliban to winning the peace?”
Some experts argue that the new US strategy would not represent a radical departure from the past.
“To be honest, it’s probably pretty close to what a Hillary Clinton would do,” said Derek Chollet, an assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration who now serves as a defense analyst at the German Marshall Fund.
The United States -- under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency -- and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

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