August 23, 2017

The Only Way Trump’s Afghanistan Plan Would Make Sense

By Stephen Tankel

Monday night, President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan for Afghanistan. Trump admitted his instinct was to withdraw from the war-torn country, where U.S. forces have been fighting since 2001. But when push came to shove, fears that international terrorist groups might once again use Afghanistan as a safe haven to strike America tipped the scales. Trump is now pursuing the same goal as his predecessors: to prevent this from happening. He sold his plan to accomplish this as “a new strategy.” It isn’t.

First, strategies articulate a clear political objective and match means to ends. Trump defined victory as “attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaida, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terrorist attacks against America before they emerge.” He never said how America would achieve this. Read the full article in Fortune.

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