WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump vowed to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan Monday night, but declined to share how many troops will ultimately be deployed or what the overall plan might be.
In an attempt to break from his predecessor, Trump told military personnel at Ft. Myer in Virginia that he will loosen the rules of engagement between U.S. troops and combatants, increase pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terrorism and refuse to adopt a timetable for withdrawal.
Trump said that he came to the decision to maintain a U.S. presence in Afghanistan reluctantly.
“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts, but all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” Trump said.
While the President said that the U.S. will focus on economic development in Afghanistan, he suggested that it will only go so far as it helps U.S. efforts.
“We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists,” Trump said.