Aug 22, 2017

Trump lays out plan to continue Afghanistan War

Dave Lawler, author of World

Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Trump gave a prime time, televised address from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia on the "path forward" for the War in Afghanistan. Trump, who once supported full withdrawal from Afghanistan, said the risks of a hasty exit were "unacceptable," and laid out the following policies:

  1. A shift "from a time-based approach to one based on conditions," so enemies don't "wait out" the U.S.
  2. Taking a harder line on Pakistan for providing safe havens to militants who target Americans.
  3. Reducing restrictions on troops, and "expanding authorities" to target terrorist networks and attack enemies.

Key takeawaysTrump said America can't be a force for peace in the world if it isn't itself at peace: "There can be no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate" in the U.S, "love for America requires love for all of its people."He didn't make specific reference to troop levels, though reports are that he'll be increasing the U.S. presence by about 4,000 troops.His strategy

  • Trump said withdrawal "would create a vacuum that terrorists... would instantly fill just as happened before September 11." He said the U.S. can't repeat its mistakes in Iraq.
  • On his change of tune: "All my life I've heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk of the Oval Office."
  • What victory looks like: crushing al-Qaeda, keeping Taliban in check, ensuring there's no base from which to attack the U.S.
"America First" elements
  • Trump says the U.S. has spent too much blood and treasure "trying to rebuild other countries in our own image."
  • Trump repeated his calls for allies to contribute more to their own defense, and said the greatest burden will fall on Afghanistan to protect itself, and "build their own nation."

Go deeper

CNN crew arrested live on air while reporting on Minneapolis protests

CNN's Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested Friday by Minneapolis state police while reporting on the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city.

What happened: CNN anchors said Jimenez and his crew were arrested for not moving after being told to by police, though the live footage prior to their arrests clearly shows Jimenez talking calmly with police and offering to move wherever necessary.

First look: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The president's re-election campaign debuts its "Asian Americans for Trump" initiative in a virtual event tonight, courting a slice of the nation's electorate that has experienced a surge in racism and harassment since the pandemic began.

The big question: How receptive will Asian American voters be in this moment? Trump has stoked xenophobia by labeling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" and the "Wuhan virus" and equating Chinatowns in American cities to China itself.

How the U.S. might distribute a coronavirus vaccine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Now that there are glimmers of hope for a coronavirus vaccine, governments, NGOs and others are hashing out plans for how vaccines could be distributed once they are available — and deciding who will get them first.

Why it matters: Potential game-changer vaccines will be sought after by everyone from global powers to local providers. After securing supplies, part of America's plan is to tap into its military know-how to distribute those COVID-19 vaccines.