Trump Rules Out Afghan Troops Withdrawal

World | August 22, 2017, Tuesday // 09:29| Views: | Comments: 0
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President Donald Trump has said a hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan would leave a vacuum for terrorists to fill, rpeorted BBC.

He said his original instinct was to pull US forces out, but had instead decided to stay and "fight to win" - avoiding the mistakes made in Iraq.

He said he wanted to shift from a time-based approach in Afghanistan to one based on conditions on the ground, adding he would not set out deadlines.

However, the US president warned it was not a "blank cheque" for Afghanistan.

"America will work with the Afghan government, so long as we see commitment and progress," he said.

The Taliban responded by saying that Afghanistan would become "another graveyard" for the US if it did not withdraw its troops.

Mr Trump also warned Pakistan that the US would no longer tolerate the country offering "safe havens" to extremists, saying the country had "much to lose" if it did not side with the Americans.

"We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars - at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump made it clear he expects his existing allies to support him in his new strategy, telling them he wanted them to raise their countries' contributions "in line with our own".

Criticising previous administrations, he said: "We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans."

However, Mr Trump said there would be an escalation in the battle against groups like al-Qaeda and so-called Islamic State.

Mr Trump has previously supported pulling troops out of the conflict, which began under President George W Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.

"We're not winning," he told advisers in a meeting in July.

Top White House officials have also been divided about the best way forward on Afghanistan.

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Tags: US, Donald Trump, Afghanistan, troops, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Islamic State group
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