Donald Trump to lay out US strategy for Afghanistan

President Donald Trump has made a decision on the Unites States' strategy for Afghanistan after a 'sufficiently rigorous' review process, Defence Secretary James Mattis said on Sunday.
US President Donald Trump responds to a reporter's question at the White House in Washington, DC  on Aug 14, 2017.
US President Donald Trump responds to a reporter's question at the White House in Washington, DC on Aug 14, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRIDGEWATER, New Jersey (REUTERS/AFP) - President Donald Trump is to lay out the US strategy for the war in Afghanistan in a prime-time television address to the American people on Monday night (Aug 21), the White House said on Sunday.

A White House statement said Trump, at Fort Myer near Washington, will "provide an update on the path forward for America's engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia".

The plan comes almost 16 years after the war began.

The US leader will address the nation at 9 pm (9 am Tuesday Singapore time) from the military base at Fort Myer southwest of the capital, the White House said in a statement.

Trump gathered top security officials Friday at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland to weigh his options in the grueling conflict, saying afterwards that "many decisions" had been made.

Wary of international involvements but eager for progress in the drawn-out Afghan war, the Trump administration had originally promised a new plan by mid-July.

 

Trump was said to be dissatisfied by initial proposals to add a few thousand more troops in the country, and advisers were studying an expanded strategy for the broader South Asian region, including Pakistan.

There are now about 8,400 US and 5,000 NATO troops supporting Afghanistan's security forces in the fight against Taliban and other militants. But the situation has remained as deadly as ever, with more than 2,500 Afghan police and troops killed from January 1 to May 8.