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Mike Pence: Donald Trump’s new American strategy for Afghanistan will undo past failures
USA Today
August 21, 2017

President Trump has no higher priority than the safety and security of the American people. Since the very first day of our administration, he has taken decisive action to protect our citizens, our country and our very way of life — and on Monday, President Trump announced a new strategy for addressing threats from Afghanistan and South Asia that will enhance the security of our homeland and protect our people from those who would do us harm.

The president has authorized our armed forces to directly target the terrorists and militant networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan, who put our soldiers at risk and destabilize the region. He has lifted the restrictions that prevented our commanders in the field from fully using their judgment and expertise to carry out their critical missions.

Achieving this goal requires that both the Afghan authorities and the Taliban demonstrate political will to participate in a meaningful dialogue.

To be clear: America’s goal in Afghanistan is not to impose democracy or a strong central government that runs counter to Afghanistan’s tradition of local autonomy. Nonetheless, we insist that the Afghan government reduce corruption, implement reforms, and continue to strengthen its security forces, which have repeatedly proved their courage and resolve on the field of battle.

The previous administration alerted our enemies ahead of time by announcing troop numbers and timelines, something President Trump has wisely refused to do.

A stable Afghanistan will mean a safer America. To achieve this goal, President Trump’s new strategy for South Asia also calls for a shift in America’s policy towards Pakistan, a place he refuses to ignore.

Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much more to lose by supporting terrorists. The president has put them on notice.

Finally, the president’s strategy for South Asia involves a stronger strategic partnership with India — the world’s largest democracy and a key security and economic partner.

President Trump’s strategy for South Asia will undo the failed policies of the past and put the safety and security of the American people first.

Read the full editorial here.