Trump says decision made on new Afghan strategy

Reince Priebus speaks to CNN after he was replaced as the White House chief of staff with John Kelly

U.S President Donald Trump met with his national security team on Friday at the Camp David retreat, but the much-awaited strategy for Afghanistan, where the country is entangled in a conflict for the last 16 years, was not announced at the end of the day. Now, Vice President Pence and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster are also taking up the cause of large-scale escalation, pushing Trump to accept the recommendations of the commanders.

The United States has around 8,400 troops in Afghanistan and the Trump administration had struggled for months with options ranging from a significant surge in the numbers to letting the present numbers stand and or get out of Afghanistan, ending the longest war America has ever fought.

Recently fired White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon pushed for a plan outlined Academi, a private security firm once branded as Blackwater, to rely on mercenaries in Afghanistan instead of active duty USA service members.

"Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented Generals and military leaders". Trump would take a final decision on this at an appropriate time, the White House said, without divulging the details of the meeting during which Trump was briefed by his national security team. As part of this plan, USA soldiers would join Afghan forces at the brigade level.




Prince has promoted his plan in media interviews, but officials said McMaster, Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford and retired Marine General John Kelly, the president's chief of staff, oppose the idea.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a senior Republican and advocate of a stronger USA role in Afghanistan, is urging Trump to "listen to his generals". US military commanders earlier had requested more troops in to battle the insurgents, while according to reports, Trump has been very cautious regarding USA presence in Afghanistan.

"We are losing in Afghanistan, and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide", McCain said.

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