President Donald Trump will offer “a path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia” as he addresses American Troops and the nation tonight on live television from Fort Myer, Virginia.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis confirmed to reporters that the president decided on a new strategy that some have speculated will increase the number of troops already present in Afghanistan. Mattis refrained from outlining the specifics of the new strategy as the Trump insisted on delivering the new plan himself.
The 16-year-old war has also lead to mass opium production. According to Forbes, Afghanistan now produces as much as 80 percent of the world’s opium which has caused approximately 127,000 deaths worldwide as of 2015.
According to the New York Times, several military leaders say the increase in personnel will help fight corruption and “reverse gains made by the Taliban and militant groups like the Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate, the Islamic State in Khorasan.”
This will be Trump’s first televised address since January, with the issue of troops in Afghanistan having been a point of contention for him since taking office. While Barack Obama was president, he advocated for a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops in a tweet that stated, “We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.!”
Today on Think Tank the panel discussed the president’s options and whether or not the mass production of opium will lead to a new drug war.