President Trump declared on Thursday that it was time for the U.S. Army to come home from Afghanistan where a short lived truce ended this week with bloodshed.
Being interviewed at a Town Hall event in Scranton, PA, by FOX News journalist Martha MacCallum, also known for her book about a family’s legacy from World War II, Unknown Valor, Trump said:
“There’s a big question about the government of Afghanistan, there’s a big question about that whole situation in Afghanistan. We’re getting along very well with everybody. We have to get our people back home, it’s not fair. We’re a police force over there. We’re maintaining things. Eventually, we have to leave. We don’t want to stay there for another 20 years. We don’t want to stay there for 100 years. We want our people to come back home.”
A truce had been announced on Saturday; on Tuesday the president made comments about the positive nature of his high level talks there, as the first U.S. President to ever speak directly to Taliban leadership, but on Wednesday, it crashed, ending in violence.
Spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Col Sonny Leggett on Wednesday said via Twitter:
“The US conducted an airstrike on March 4 against Taliban fighters in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand, who were actively attacking an #ANDSF checkpoint. This was a defensive strike to disrupt the attack. This was our 1st strike against the Taliban in 11 days.”
“On March 3rd alone, the Taliban conducted 43 attacks on #ANDSF checkpoints in #Helmand. The Taliban claim to be fighting to free Afg. from int’l forces, the Feb 29 agreement provides a conditions-based path to withdrawal.”
“Taliban leadership promised the int’l community they would reduce violence and not increase attacks. We call on the Taliban to stop needless attacks and uphold their commitments. As we have demonstrated, we will defend our partners when required.”
“To be clear- we are committed to peace, however we have the responsibility to defend our #ANDSF partners. #Afghans & US have complied w/ our agreements; however, Talibs appear intent on squandering this opp. and ignoring the will of the people for #peace. #Showyourcommitment”
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R) on Thursday visited soldiers injured in those attacks.
“Today I visited a few of our 7th Group warriors at Walter Reed Military Medical Center. These soldiers were involved in the recent attack in Afghanistan. I’m glad to see everyone in good spirits with their families. They are a true inspiration,” Gaetz said via Twitter.
At the same Town Hall event, President Trump was asked by co-host Fox journalist Brett Baier if he forgotten his promise to eliminate the $23 trillion federal debt within eight years.
His answer, which was received with great applause, was that he does still care about that issue, but one pressing matter trumped that:
“I had to fix the military, the military was depleted, I had to fix the military.”