Reaction to President Donald Trump’s announcement on Monday on his path forward in Afghanistan varied significantly, as lawmakers and members of the Trump administration expressed their thoughts on the news.
“Together, we will assist the Afghan Security forces to destroy the terrorist hub,” Defense Secretary James Mattis said.
“The president has provided his strategic guidance for the South Asia strategy following a rigorous interagency review. I have directed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make preparations to carry out the president’s strategy. I will be in consultation with the Secretary General of NATO and our allies—several of which have also committed to increasing their troop numbers.”
Speaking from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, the president addressed U.S. troops and the nation about the war in Afghanistan. During the address, Trump asked both India and Pakistan to help to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. Trump also said that he would hold Pakistan accountable for attacks in its country and for any continued support of the Taliban.
“We will not talk about numbers of troops,” Trump said of his new policy. “Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide the U.S.”
“There is no substitute for American leadership,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. “I applaud the Trump Administration for refocusing our military efforts and supporting our brave warfighters by laying out a strategy that will help produce a more secure, stable, and sovereign Afghanistan.”
“I assure you a lot of people in Congress will be behind the president,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said moments after the announcement. “The game has changed with Pakistan,…