World responds to Trump's new Afghan strategy

Published: August 22, 2017
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PHOTO: BBC

PHOTO: BBC

US President Donald Trump, in his much anticipated speech unveiling the long-awaited US strategy on Afghanistan, has said that the war will still go on and even though he intended to backtrack, things look different from ‘behind the desk in the Oval Office.’

However, his announcement of the new Afghan policy drew a mixed response from world leaders and analysts who have spoken out on what they feel towards this new plan of action.

US tough talk could push Pakistan closer to Russia, China

Afghanistan welcomes the decision

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed Trump’s new Afghan strategy, which would see deployment of thousands more US troops besides removal of timelines for withdrawal of the remaining foreign soldiers, AFP reported.

“I am grateful to President Trump and the American people for this affirmation of support for our joint struggle to rid the region from the threat of terrorism,” Ghani said in a statement.

The Afghan president said the new strategy would increase the capacity of the training mission for the war-torn country’s national security forces, including enhancing its fledgling air force and doubling the size of the Afghan special forces.

Pakistan preparing ‘detailed response’

“There is nothing new in President Trump’s speech,” a senior government official who did not wish to be named told The Express Tribune.

“Pakistan has destroyed and eliminated the terror infrastructure from its soil therefore repeating the demand of ‘do more’ is not going to work,” the official added saying.

India shares Washington concerns

India welcomed President Trump’s plan to increase US engagement in Afghanistan, saying it shared Washington’s concerns about safe havens for terrorists in its backyard.

“We welcome President Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.
“India shares these concerns and objectives.”

China backs Pakistan

In response to the US president’s denouncement of Pakistan’s “safe havens for terrorists”, China has expressed its support for its “all-weather friend”, saying the international community should fully recognise Islamabad’s anti-terror efforts.

“Pakistan was on the front line in the struggle against terrorism and had made great sacrifices and important contributions in the fight,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

“We are happy to see Pakistan and the United States carry out anti-terror cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, and work together for security and stability in the region and world.”

US tough talk could push Pakistan closer to Russia, China

Russia thinks Trump’s strategy will not be beneficial

Russia does not believe that Trump’s new strategy on Afghanistan will lead to any significant positive changes in the country, the Interfax news agency cited an unnamed Russian foreign ministry source.

Britain lauds Trump’s commitment

Britain welcomed Trump’s commitment to step up the military campaign against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

Britain, along with other European allies, pledged more troops to support Afghanistan’s military in June, with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis saying at the time that troop numbers in the country had been reduced too rapidly.

“The US commitment is very welcome,” British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in a statement.

“In my call with Secretary Mattis yesterday, we agreed that despite the challenges, we have to stay the course in Afghanistan to help build up its fragile democracy and reduce the terrorist threat to the West. It’s in all our interests that Afghanistan becomes more prosperous and safer: that’s why we announced our own troop increase back in June.”

Trump backs off Afghan withdrawal, slams Pakistan for ‘harbouring terrorists’

Taliba­n warn Afghan­istan will become ‘graveyard’ for US

A spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban condemned Trump’s announcement that he will keep American troops in Afghanistan with no set timetable for withdrawal.

“If America doesn’t withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century. Instead of continuing (the) war in Afghanistan, Americans should have thought about withdrawing their soldiers from the country,” the statement said.

NATO appreciates Trump’s ‘conditions-based approach’

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed Trump’s plan to send additional troops to Afghanistan, saying the alliance would not let the country become a haven for terrorists, AFP reports.

“Our aim remains to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who would attack our own countries,” he said in a statement.

“I welcome President Trump’s new, conditions-based approach to Afghanistan and the region,” Stoltenberg added, noting that Nato has over 12,000 soldiers stationed in the country.

Meanwhile, Australian military analyst David Kilcullen told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that Trump’s speech set a “fairly low bar” in terms of success. He also added saying that Trump isn’t seeking to promote democracy or counter-corruption but only trying to acquire military outcomes.

With focus on Afghan policy, US team due in Islamabad tomorrow

The military strategist also said that the speech sounded as if it had been written by military officials working in the White House.

National security analyst Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC stated, “We don’t have any good options and we can’t predict the outcome of putting any of them into practice,” Trump’s approach clears the way for the Pentagon to send several thousand more non-combat US advisers to Afghanistan reports USAToday.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Shah S
    Aug 22, 2017 - 9:50PM

    So glad that now billions of dollars worth of iron, copper and precious minerals will be mined and taken by USA .. great stuff.. and really good for Afghanis-tan as they dont need such burden of minerals in their country… All this wealth of Afghanis-tan it will be forcefully taken away from them by US and Hindus-tan; and these shameless, ungrateful, unthankful, and unworthy Afghans will be stripped of all their mineral wealth; Great and really Good News; Recommend

  • Mostly Bull
    Aug 22, 2017 - 10:36PM

    @Soori Durrani (FB above): please don’t insult anyone; paksitan is a country which does its best not to do anything like you have stated; most times it can’t be helped; its not its fault; problem lies with donors who keep giving unlike all-weather burder. Recommend

  • ABHISHEK BHARTI
    Aug 23, 2017 - 7:37AM

    So in world view you have included Taliban Recommend

  • harkol
    Aug 23, 2017 - 10:04AM

    Basically, we have a new cold war..

    New Communist+ block is China & it’s cronies. And capitalist block is US+NATO+India. Russia at present may be undecided, but likely to join China & co..

    There will be a trade war in coming days… And the dictatorial countries will lose out, for the same reason as USSR lost out… Dictatorships don’t work in long run…Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Aug 23, 2017 - 10:13AM

    Instead of blame game (like Indians to escape dialogue) which is going on for some time, is it really hard to spell out e.g.,

    US should help to seal the border with Afghanistan
    Set and send observers in the region
    Set clear parameters instead of vague statement.

    This would show if there is seriousness or the motive is just to help India to play its game and make it happy to handle China.Recommend

  • Adam Kamal
    Aug 23, 2017 - 10:47AM

    In its description of the Afghan reality today and its dangers, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report (22/5/2017) stated “…the combination of a weakening Afghan regime and an unchecked Taliban resurgence could lead to the catastrophic collapse of the Afghan government and state, resulting in either a return to anarchy or the recrudescence of terrorist groups.” That report stresses that the Afghan conflict must end not only because it costs America $23 billion a year, but because of the narrow options for a solution in Afghanistan.Recommend

  • scotchpak
    Aug 24, 2017 - 6:07AM

    Key to Afghan solution lies in northern Afghanistan not southRecommend

  • Navid Alam
    Aug 30, 2017 - 7:54AM

    ‘Billions and Billions of dollars.’ Recommend

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