Poised to decide whether to surge U.S. troops into Afghanistan, President Trump aims to “fully eliminate” threats to U.S. and allied interests around the world, the White House said Tuesday.
“We need to fully eliminate any threat around the globe, frankly, not just in Afghanistan, that poses a threat to our people and our allies,” press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily briefing.
The review of America’s Afghanistan strategy is done, and the president will be briefed “soon,” a top aide told Yahoo News. This sets the stage for Trump to decide whether or not to hurl more troops into America’s longest war.
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Nicholson Jr., warned the Senate Armed Services Committee in early February that the war in Afghanistan was in a “stalemate” and that “we have a shortfall of a few thousand” troops.
But the decision — and the White House’s newly expansive language — risk alienating some of the president’s supporters. As candidate, Trump promised an “America First” foreign policy focused on destroying the so-called Islamic State while resisting nation-building entanglements. He repeatedly condemned spending on military interventions overseas as wasting dollars that could better be used to rebuild U.S. infrastructure.