(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump will use a nationally televised address to outline for a war-weary nation the strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan after 16 years of combat and lives lost.
The speech Monday night will also give Trump a chance for a reset after one of the most difficult weeks of his short presidency.
Trump tweeted Saturday that he had reached a decision on the way forward in Afghanistan, a day after he reviewed war options with his national security team at a meeting at Camp David, Maryland. The president offered no clues about whether he would send thousands more U.S. troops into Afghanistan or exercise his authority as commander in chief to order that they be withdrawn from America’s longest war.
But signs pointed in the direction of Trump continuing the U.S. commitment there.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Sunday hailed the launch of the Afghan Army’s new special operations corps and declared that “we are with you and we will stay with you.”
Trump scheduled a 9 p.m. EDT Monday address to the nation and U.S. troops stationed at the Army’s Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Next door to the base is Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for many of the U.S. troops who died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It will be Trump’s first formal address to the nation outside of his late February speech to a joint session of Congress. And it follows one of the most trying weeks for the president, who generated a firestorm of criticism after he appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with the counter-protesters who…
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