A new approach in Afghanistan

August 22, 2017

Last night, Donald Trump made his first televised address to the nation as President, a lengthy foreign policy address revealing what he has decided to do about American involvement in Afghanistan. As a candidate, Trump ran on pulling America out of foreign wars, but the speech represented a reversal of that stand.

Trump said he will authorize military leaders to send US troops to Afghanistan (he didn’t apply a number, but word is that it’s up to 4,000), but he slammed his predecessor, Barack Obama, saying that his tragic mistakes will not be repeated. There will be no announcements in advance of what we will or won’t do, when we’ll attack, and when we plan to leave. We won’t suddenly pull out, leaving a vacuum for terrorists to fill. Micromanagement of the war by politicians and rules of engagement that hamper our troops from fighting back are over. The goal will not be nation-building, but killing terrorists. He called on India to step up its efforts in Afghanistan, and on Pakistan to work fully as a partner in fighting terrorists and stop providing them a safe haven. And he said that if the Taliban wants a possible place in Afghanistan’s future, the only way is through peace because they will not win on the battlefield.

Trump admitted that this policy is a reversal of what he ran on, and it goes against his first instincts, which he usually trusts. But he said that after months of meetings with experts on what’s happened in Afghanistan, he has decided this is the right thing to do.


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The speech was greeted with cheers by many military members and veterans, who felt like sitting ducks under the previous Administration’s half-hearted leadership and felt betrayed by giving up of hard-won territory through pulling out prematurely. Even some of Trump’s loudest critics among Republicans praised the speech and the new direction. It would be ironic if Trump became the first politician to boost his approval rating by breaking a major campaign promise. But it would be doubly ironic if Democrats attacked him for admitting he was wrong and changing his mind after listening to others, which is what they’ve been slamming him for being unable to do ever since he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy.

Let’s just hope they have the maturity to admit when they are wrong.

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Comments 1-38 of 38

  • Patricia A. McMahon

    08/24/2017 07:26 PM

    Yes, I'm support the President's position on Afghanistan and the Middle East. It's about time someone put their foot down on Pakistan's double dealing. You can't ask for money and aid, and then throw a fit when we catch Bin Laden in their back yard. Glad POTUS brought India into the picture. THAT should make Pakistan stand up and take notice. No free rides to double dealing terrorist supporters.

    Patricia A. McMahon
    Sergeant First Class, USA(Ret)

  • Gayle Johnson

    08/24/2017 01:54 PM

    I'm not crazy about the idea of putting more of our men and women in uniform in harm's way, BUT that is not my decision to make. I applaud President Trump for saying that he will not announce a time for pulling out, that he will not let our enemies (both domestic? and international) know his game plan. That is something I couldn't understand; why tell our enemies anything! When I would hear politicians giving out that information I would yell at the TV or radio "ARE YOU CRAZY?! THEY ARE OUR ENEMY! SHUT YOUR YAP!!" WHAT MORONS! I wasn't born when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, but I'm positive they didn't announce their plans ahead of time, otherwise the U.S. would have been waiting for them. Announcing before hand what you intend to do is like telling the robbers when you will be away from your house, when you will be returning, and where they can find the keys to your house. I also applaud President Trump for taking the handcuffs off our military. We don't need elected officials micromanaging the military leaders! Let them do their job the best way they see fit. They WILL get it done! USA! USA! USA! Yaaaaay TRUMP/Pence/Mattis! GO TEAM!!
    Gayle

  • Nancy CULKIN

    08/24/2017 12:35 PM

    A man who can change his mind,realizing it's a better thing is A Real Man. He is not just my President he is up there with the great Presidents. He is not a coward . He will fight For the Christians and the Jews and justice for everyone. May God Him. MAGA !!!!!!

  • stephen citron

    08/24/2017 10:55 AM

    It is my belief that we should have looked at the quagmire the USSR got in, in a cess pool like Afghanistan. After the initial killing of the Al Queda leaders, let the 14th century idiots have their rock pile. Then bring fire and brimstone down on any poppy growers who try to engage in that enterprise. I fear that that place is a dead end, and we can contain them if Pakistan will quit harboring the rebels. OR..... make the world a promise, if the rest of the world will not jump in and help us finish this and pull ot, we should just make a larger desert out of it with tactical 1-10 megaton weapons. North korea is another never ending mud pit, that we should have finished in 1952!!

  • Nancy Raney

    08/23/2017 09:29 AM

    I am so very proud of my President. If he had more support from the Republicans in office he could achieve so much more. He is a fighter like me and I understand his frustration with the swamp. So angry with Mitch McConnell. He needs to retire and go home. Paul Ryan is not two inches behind him. Congress is in office to help the people of America not their own agenda. All they are interested in is lining their own pockets. If they think we don't see what's going on they are way off the mark. Hope President Trump continues to fight for us regardless of what the fake news is saying. Love my President.

  • Audrey Enzor

    08/22/2017 11:27 PM

    I agree we need to win this war we have been fighting for years and get our military out of harm's way; I feel we shouldn't have been over there at all and should mind our own business.
    The last legitimate war the USA won was WWII when we defended ourselves after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor !

  • Jennifer Albert

    08/22/2017 07:36 PM

    I fully support President Trump's Afghanistan strategy. I also like that he's not broadcasting to the enemy (who may actually be in his own Cabinet) what and when he's going to implement his plan. I am seriously ANGRY with the Paul Ryans, McCains, McConnells, and all the rest of the Americ-hating Republicans! If they don't back our President now, they won't get a chance to in the future!

  • Beverly konn

    08/22/2017 06:00 PM

    At last we have a president that actions speak louder words. Go president trump you are the greatest.

  • Lisa Meadowcroft

    08/22/2017 05:58 PM

    I was surprised how everything he said made sense to me. I usually don't follow along very well during the speech. I could never listen to Obama! I don't think he really wants to send more of our people over there but finally figured this was the only way to "get this war over with"!
    I just wish he'd send the ILLEGAL MUSLIMS AND OTHERS with those troops and get them out of our Country. It scares me to death seeing these Muslims getting GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL POSITIONS knowing they ONLY BELIEVE IN SHARIA LAW!
    WHY are they even allowed to RUN for any official office? Why can't President Trump stop them?
    Once we defeat the TERRORISTS in Afganistan, we can send the ILLEGAL ALLIANS back where they came from but it won't be SOON ENOUGH FOR ME! I AM SCARED TO DEATH WE WILL NEVER GET THEM OUT OF HERE or that they will try overthrowing our government and take over our Country! DEPORT THEM PLEASE!

  • C F

    08/22/2017 05:56 PM

    Loved hearing our President speak about the thought and consideration that went into this policy. I'm sure our military is pleased that they will now be able to best fight this war as directed by their commanders in the field and not Washington DC "thinkers" who have no idea what they face daily in combat.

  • sharon kumler

    08/22/2017 05:54 PM

    I definitely agree - how can I not? He has all the wisdom accessible to him ... what would I know that could be of any value. I voted for him, I support him and I PRAY for him!! He needs something to draw the people together ... no matter what it takes. And God as that taken care of!

  • Jean Meuser

    08/22/2017 05:44 PM

    In my opinion President's Trump's delivery was perfect. I don't understand how a person couldn't agree and that he respects the military. He demonstrates his leadership by listening to his Generals. They specialize in military analyzing of the enemy. They study responses. I think it would be safe to say that it is really a "mind game" for them. We should be proud!! It confirms how much importance he places in "his job" to protect our country and we the people. Leaders know the right person (s) to put in the department positions who can do that job well. When will we have redemption from those who oppose? Will we be free from those who perpetuate lies and clearly have a purpose to take down our president but our country as well.? Here is a thought we need to remember when it comes to filtering out truth and lies.
    " The naked truth is better than a well dressed lie." We need to pray without ceasing!

  • Susan Crayne

    08/22/2017 05:27 PM

    I believe as circumstances change you must also be flexible too. Advisors are there for a reason, to give advice and wisdom. Which we cannot have too much of!!
    susan C

  • Norman Leal

    08/22/2017 05:25 PM

    We have to win or get out. If there is a chance to win that should be the objective.

  • Elise Negrin

    08/22/2017 05:16 PM

    I have to agree with the Presidents reversal of campaign promises, as it is prudent not to pull out suddenly and leave that area for terrorists to fill. After all, President Trump has already filled more of his campaign promises than most past presidents combined. I stand with HIM!

  • Michael Novak

    08/22/2017 05:15 PM

    A well thought-out speech, that finally gets us going in a right direction. No more pussy-footing around!!! As a veteran, I applaud the President for giving the troops the tools and permission to conduct a war. Hey if we are not in to win, why be there??

  • Richard Crumb

    08/22/2017 05:00 PM

    It is timportant we had a president, not just a politician. President Trump spoke the words we needed to hear and I believe he is the man to caRay out those words

  • Donna Lewis

    08/22/2017 04:27 PM

    I am very proud of President Trump and loved his speech. I think he is doing a spectacular job since Jan.20th. I wholeheartedly agree with no more nation building and no more blank checks. We are there to kill terrorists. I was shocked and pleased with Senator Lindsey Grahams comments on the speech, considering some of his past comments. I would love to hear the rhinos and Dems start backing our President. I will continue to pray for President Trump daily, for God's protection and guidance. I believe he was elected for such a time as this. MAGA!!!

  • Milton E Alvis, Jr., M.D.

    08/22/2017 04:16 PM

    Mr. Trump had both clearly done his homework and presented the many interacting issues of good vs. evil, freedom vs. enslavement, in clear sober/somber tones. These issues have always existed for humans on this planet, the very issues the founding fathers worked to address in American Form of Government: http://goo.gl/MyrNh1.

    The previous administration(s), like most Dems (always the party of slavery, by whatever means, while claiming they are doing good & accusing opponents of their own sins), most RINOs, most government workers (i.e. rulers/enslavers), media and most Hollywood work to change the constitution to enslave US citizens (for their power) while weakening citizen self-protection via the military, the 2nd Amendment, suppressing the 1st Amendment, etc. Go Convention of States: https://goo.gl/rZ06O7, implement powerful corrections/clarifications for what the found fathers knew would happen.

    Slavery of the masses for power while pulling us all downward has always been dominant on this planet. Why? Human Nature: https://goo.gl/yP1UU5.

  • Jim Lawson

    08/22/2017 03:53 PM

    I pray hard for this Country to survive the onslot of the liberals treason and for you sir and President Trump to eradicate their cells of domestic terrorist and stop their terrorism against America and bring our Nation back together the way our founders intended and gave their lives for!! I do believe President Trump has made the correct choice in Afganistan but sadly there is no right choice!!

  • Ginger Cox

    08/22/2017 03:47 PM

    President Trump's speech was absolutely perfect. It was well thought out, clear, informative and tactful. I hope he would employ this method every time he speaks. Shooting from the hip cause anger among the emotionally sensitive people and democrats and haters and RINOs. They need simple ABCs with clarity like last night speech. I found some comments from haters, saying they didn't vote for Trump but they admit Trump's speech was excellent and they felt comfortable with moving forward.

  • Cletas Rains

    08/22/2017 03:03 PM

    We finally have a commander-in-chief that understands that the military leaders are experts and know what needs to be done. The past administration destroyed our superiority in military strength by telegraphing plans prior to initiation and limiting the rules of engagement. I fully support this new direction and expect we will see positive results very soon. This is a plan that will protect our interests and take the fight to the terrorists on their home field rather than in the USA!

  • jean stanfield

    08/22/2017 02:54 PM

    I hope Pres. Trump follows thru on his statement. BUT I also hope he does not reveal, or let anyone else reveal, when, how, what forces, etc he will be using. AND I sincerely hope he will leave it of that darned Twitter account. There is no need to forewarn the enemy and for goodness sakes do not let the media have any advance notice.

  • Bonnie R Morris

    08/22/2017 02:50 PM

    I am proud of my President and agree with his strategy!! Thanks for doing an independent poll aside from the "fake polls" that other networks keep showing. I believe America is still behind our president as much as it was during the last election. I believe he IS making America great again.

  • Lisa Luker

    08/22/2017 02:49 PM

    I am sorry for the American lives that may be lost as terrorists are confronted and destroyed, but enough innocents have died grisly deaths at terrorists hands all over the world. That must be stopped!
    I hope our allies will join us as this deadly enemy is sought out wherever it is.
    I stand with President Trump and I am proud that he and our military are ready to rid the world of the horrible scourge of terrorism in all it's forms.

  • Mark S. Rozell Sr.

    08/22/2017 02:48 PM

    I support the ideal of sending more troops. I would also support the ideal of putting more warships and special forces in that region. Don't let Iran think we're short on fighting personnel or ships and plans make them all see and feel our military might. I would ensure they know that they are not dealing with Obama and John Kerry. Let all of the Middle East know. Not just Afghanistan. I'm not saying strike Iran I'm just saying let them see our mighty military. God bless you Mike Huckabee....

    Mark S. Rozell Sr.

  • Stanley Trout

    08/22/2017 02:44 PM

    I really enjoy your email and letters Mike, thanks for providing your comments on so many of the topics that concern the average American. I am undecided on my opinion on this new direction. If there were clear cut objectives in mind with measurable deliverables that would validate the direction to see if it was working would be, for me, more palatable.

  • David

    08/22/2017 02:36 PM

    I was unable to watch the speech, but I wholeheartedly support President Trump's decision. He understands what the average guy on the street understands. You either fight to win, or you abandon the effort. In the case of Afghanistan, we must fight to win.

  • Ron Boto

    08/22/2017 02:35 PM

    I am a veteran (drafted 70-72 served in Korea), but no military strategist. Having just lived through eight years of a non-military strategist serving as our President, I stand behind President Trump's new position on Afghanistan. I follow Christian activity in Pakistan and also am not a fan of much of what goes on there. Identifying strengths and targeting weaknesses for either correction or elimination is our best route in just about any situation.

  • Cheryl Woltemate

    08/22/2017 02:34 PM

    Although in a perfect world our troops would have come home immediately, since he is going to call for more to go, hopefully this means he is going to hit hard, quick, and be done with it, allowing our boys to come home. I have a feeling he means what he says about not wiring a head to let them know our plans. That will make a world of difference.

  • Pat Hook

    08/22/2017 02:32 PM

    He spoke absolute truth and I am thankful he is listening to those who should be wisest in making these decisions. That shows he is a good leader. I thank God every day he is our President.

  • Carole Anderson

    08/22/2017 02:26 PM

    I trust President 100%. He's intelligent, caring, and surrounded by outstanding people!

  • Nancy Hutchison

    08/22/2017 02:21 PM

    I feel Trump has spent too much time on the divided country we have... he needs to move forward....I think he should be able change his mind ...it's always different when in the drivers seat... I pray that soon America will come together and be united. Shame on the liberal side for being so ugly! We did not approve of Obama but never felt this kind of hatred..I think our own America is a worse threat than the enemy sometimes! God bless America!

  • Nancy Hutchison

    08/22/2017 02:20 PM

    I feel Trump has spent too much time on the divided country we have... he needs to move forward....I think he should be able change his mind ...it's always different when in the drivers seat... I pray that soon America will come together and be united. Shame on the liberal side for being so ugly! We did not approve of Obama but never felt this kind of hatred..I think our own America is a worse threat than the enemy sometimes! God bless America!

  • Nelson Patterson

    08/22/2017 02:20 PM

    I think he is spot on with the total direction and his expectation for our allies (friends)-they are either with us or against us, in both
    words and deeds.

  • William Bailey

    08/22/2017 02:15 PM

    I think Russia, Pakistan, the USA and China should divide up Afganastan and help them into the 21st century! And use their mineral rights to pay for It!
    Bill

  • Cheryl Woltemate

    08/22/2017 02:07 PM

    I believe that Trump HAS been listening to his advisors and I trust his judgement. And, I respect his right to keep the plan a secret. What's the point in telling the enemy your game plan?

  • Donna Straface

    08/22/2017 02:02 PM

    I thought President Trump was wonderful last night. I stand behind him 100%. I pray that God keeps him safe and strong.