Trump U-turn on Afghan troops withdrawal

President Donald Trump has changed his mind about his original plan to pull US forces out of Afghanistan.

He has instead decided to stay and ‘fight to win’ to avoid mistakes made in Iraq being repeated, and leaving a vacuum for terrorists to fill.

Trump said he wanted to shift from a time-based approach in Afghanistan to one based on conditions on the ground. He said his new approach would be more pragmatic than idealistic, and would switch from nation building to ‘killing terrorists’.

The president also put pressure on neighbouring Pakistan, warning that the US would no longer tolerate it offering ‘safe havens’ to extremists.

Trump said: “America will work with the Afghan government, so long as we see commitment and progress.

“Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

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