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Donald Trump to hold televised address on Afghanistan War

President Trump will address the nation on his strategy for Afghanistan in a prime-time televised address Monday night.

The White House said Sunday that Mr. Trump will address the nation’s troops and the American people from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, at 9 p.m. Monday “to provide an update on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia.”

The president met with his national-security team on Friday at Camp David about the decision, which has been building for months as he seeks a new course for America’s 16-year-long war in the region. The U.S. still has nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan as military advisers and to conduct counter-terrorism operations.

One option debated would be to deploy about 4,000 more troops. Mr. Trump has been questioning advisers closely on whether the U.S. should finally extricate itself from Afghanistan, a move that was advocated by chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, who was ousted from his post Friday.

As he sought answers on his move, Mr. Trump also invited a group of Afghanistan veterans to the White House to hear their views on the war.

President Barack Obama originally intended to bring all but about 1,000 U.S. troops home from Afghanistan by the time he left office in January.

But he reversed that decision in October 2015, announcing he would keep more than 8,000 troops in the region through the end of his presidency.

“I will not allow Afghanistan to be used as safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again,” Mr. Obama said at the time.

In December 2009, Mr. Obama had ordered a “surge” of 33,000 additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan, bringing the total strength of forces in the country to more than 100,000. In 2011, Mr. Obama announced that he would bring all those “surge” forces home by September 2012, a deadline that was less than two months before his reelection.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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