Afghan President Ashraf Ghani effusively praised U.S. President Donald Trump during remarks made alongside him Thursday at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, noting his strategy for Afghanistan differs from that of former President Barack Obama like “day and night.”
“Since the decision, there’s been an immense change on the ground,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner, referencing the president’s announcement last month to deploy an additional 4,000 service members to Afghanistan for the sole purpose of “killing terrorists.”
“It’s a difference of day and night,” Ghani continued. “A cloud of uncertainty has been lifted, but equally important is your commitment to a political solution at the end of this process.”
He wasn’t kidding.
During Obama’s 8-year tenure in office, the nation’s top military commanders watched in horror as “battlefield gains slip(ped) away while American troops pulled out to meet the Obama White House’s deadlines,” as noted by Politico following Trump’s announcement last month.
“Withdrawal, in my mind, means abandoning the people of Afghanistan, abandoning the endeavor we’ve been on for the last decade, and providing Al Qaeda the space within which to plan and conduct operations against the West,” current Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joe Dunford had argued to the Senate Armed Services Committee three years ago in an attempt to slow down Obama’s withdrawal efforts.
It took a long time, but he and others — including Afghan President Ghani as well, apparently — have finally gotten what they wanted, much to their satisfaction.
“The shift from time-based to conditions-based decision-making is key,” Fred Kagan, a military strategist at the American Enterprise Institute, said last month after Trump’s announcement. “There’s no other way to fight a war with any expectation of success.”
These are no doubt difficult words to hear for those with family and friends serving in Afghanistan, but they’re the truth nonetheless.
In fact, a report published Thursday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found the Obama administration’s failures in the Middle Eastern country stemmed specifically “from U.S. military plans being created with politically constrained timelines,” according to The Washington Times.
As for Ghani, he made it clear in his statements Thursday that he’s immensely grateful for those U.S. service members who’ve “paid the ultimate price” to root out terrorism in Afghanistan.
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