President Trump reversed himself on Afghanistan Monday in announcing thousands of more troops are heading to the war-torn nation.
In his address Monday night, Trump admitted that he went against his instincts on doubling-down on America’s military commitment in Afghanistan.
“My original instinct was to pull out — and, historically, I like following my instincts. But all of my life, I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” the president stated.
The person arguably most responsible for that change of mind is National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. It has long been reported that the Army general wanted more troops in Afghanistan — the problem was convincing the president to agree.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was a vocal opponent of increasing troop numbers and urged for a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trump himself agreed with this sentiment in numerous past statements on Twitter.
“We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives,” he tweeted back in 2013. “If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick. Rebuild the US first.”
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