Trump to hold televised address on Afghanistan War Monday night

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters Sunday that Trump came to a decision after a "sufficiently rigorous" review that began in January.

President Trump to address the nation on the next moves to be made in Afghanistan.

Mattis said Sunday that the strategy covered more than Afghanistan and was a full "South Asia strategy".

One major opponent of continuing US military presence in Afghanistan in the White House, Stephen Bannon, was ousted on Friday as chief strategist.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump would address the American people at 9 p.m. ET on Monday from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.

Trump's address, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Monday at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, comes as Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have said a decision has been made on a new USA strategy in Afghanistan.

The president met with his national-security team on Friday at Camp David about the decision, which has been building for months as he seeks a new course for America's 16-year-long war in the region. We still haven't got a strategy for Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, Mattis famously told a Senate panel that the United States is "not winning in Afghanistan".

Half of Afghanistan is either contested or under the Taliban's control, according to USA estimates. "At the end of the day, Afghanistan is about American homeland security - not building empires".

Trump has given Mattis authority to set troop levels in the country, but Mattis has been waiting for Trump to decide a strategic focus before he sends any more troops.

Last week, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain also came out in favor of a beefed up U.S presence in Afghanistan, expanding tje US counterterrorism effort and providing greater support to Afghan security forces.

Erik Prince, the founder of the former Blackwater private security firm who is proposing a private security strategy for dealing with Afghanistan, had been scheduled to attend the Camp David session but Politico revealed that he was blocked at the last minute, allegedly by McMaster. The Taliban offensive against the west-backed government in the country increased this summer.

The U.S. -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission has formally ended its combat role, but about 13,500 troops remain in Afghanistan, including 7,000 soldiers from the United States and more than 1,000 from Italy.

"Afghanistan, in particular, continued to experience aggressive and coordinated attacks by the Afghan Taliban, including the affiliated Haqqani Network (HQN) and other insurgent and terrorist groups", the report stated.

The difficulty in reaching a decision was compounded, the two officials said, by the wide range of conflicting options Trump received, both in formal briefings, meetings and phone calls and from news and commentary on television and social media.


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