Pompeo Touts Progress in Afghanistan, Claims Taliban ‘Can’t Wait Us Out’

During his visit to Afghanistan Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the Trump administration’s strategy to pacify the country and support the growth of its Democratic institutions is “working,” despite the seemingly intractable problem of the Taliban’s continued control over large swaths of territory.

“I came here today to learn the progress we’ve made,” Pompeo said, referencing the administration’s Afghanistan policy, announced in August, which is focused on signaling resolve by increasing the number of ground-combat troops deployed rather than working to establish a timeline to withdraw U.S. forces. “My conclusion from this visit is the president’s strategy is indeed working.”

Pompeo noted American battlefield successes as well as the planning of Democratic elections scheduled to take place in Afghanistan this fall in defending his optimistic analysis.

“The strategy sent a clear message to the Taliban: They cannot wait us out,” Pompeo said. “Many of the Taliban now see that they can’t win on the ground militarily. That has everything to do with President Trump’s strategy.”

While there have been some recent bright spots in the now 17-year-old conflict — including a brief cease fire last month between Taliban and Afghan forces, which ended after just three days with the death of nearly 30 people in a terror attack — the expert consensus is that conditions remain largely unchanged.

 Read more at National Review

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