President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his commitment to bring back U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 19 years of deployment, saying American forces there had been cast into the role of police rather than soldiers.
Responding to a question about whether it was his intention to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan by Thanksgiving Day, Trump said, “No, I have no target. But as soon as reasonable. Over a period of time, but as soon as reasonable.”
Noting that the number of American forces in Afghanistan had dropped to below 8,000, Trump touched on the changing character of their deployment.
“Were really not acting as soldiers; were acting as police. And were not sent over there to be policemen,” Trump said at a briefing in the Rose Garden, adding, “were meant to be a fighting force.”
“Were there 19 years” Trump said, adding, “I think thats enough.”
The president said his wish to bring American soldiers back from foreign deployments extends to other countries. He noted that, if necessary, they could always be re-deployed.
“If we have to go back, well go back and well go back raging. And there, well go back as warriors, fighters. But right now, were policing. And were not meant to be a police force,” the president said.
Trumps remarks follow an announcement by the Taliban and Afghanistans president late Saturday of a three-day cease-fire ahead of a major Islamic holiday.
The Taliban order was soon followed by an announcement via Twitter from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announcing the government “extends the offer of peace.”
It came just days after U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul and Doha, urging the Taliban and the Afghan government to reduce violence and move forward with peace talks.
Intra-Afghan negotiations are a key pillar of a U.S. peace deal with the Taliban signed in February to allow American troops to leave Afghanistan. The deal was also touted at the time as Afghanistans best chance for peace after neaRead More From Source