Donald Trump demands Nato allies such as Britain send more troops to Afghanistan

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Donald Trump has called on Nato allies such as Britain to increase their commitment to providing troops and funds for war in Afghanistan.

In a major address to the US from Fort Myer, near Washington DC, President Trump said a sudden withdrawal from the country would have “predictable and unacceptable” results.

He also said that a sudden withdrawal from the country would leave a vacuum for terrorists to fill. Instead of pulling out the US military, he plans to stay and “fight to win”.

The Taliban responded by saying that Afghanistan would become “another graveyard” for the US if it did not withdraw its troops.

His announcement appeared to support a Pentagon plan to shore up the Afghanistan government and end a stalemate with the Taliban by sending more forces.

In a speech evoking the 9/11 attack in 2001 which drew the US into the war, as well as the recent terror in Barcelona, Mr Trump said he believed allies would back increases.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, and first lady Melania Trump at the event (AP)

“From now on victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating Isis, crushing Al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge,” he said.

“We will ask our Nato allies and global partners to support our new strategy with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own – we are confident they will.”

US defence secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement that he would consult with Nato and other allies, adding that “several” had already committed to increasing troop numbers.

Trump delivers his speech to troops, calling for more military intervention in Afghanistan

Before his election, Mr Trump made repeated calls for the US to withdraw, saying lives and money were being “wasted”.

But Monday’s announcement came after discussions with top Pentagon advisers and the intelligence community as well as vice president Mike Pence and Mr Mattis.

Mr Trump said he would not put a timescale on the end of the war but would instead wait for certain conditions to be met on the ground.

Trump announced his US defence strategy, saying he wants more boots on the ground in the middle east (Getty)

He declined to discuss further details on troop numbers, saying: “America’s enemies must never know our plans.”

He also addressed his reversal in opinion which he said comes after studying Afghanistan from “every conceivable angle”.

“My original instinct was to pull out and historically I like following my instincts, but all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” Mr Trump said.

He also issued a warning to Pakistan, urging it to stop providing “safe havens” for terrorist groups.

“Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan, it has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists,” he said.

Then-president George W Bush sent troops into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attack and while his successor, Barack Obama, increased the military presence to over 100,000 and failed to bring it to a close as he had planned.

Currently there are around 8,400 US troops in the country and Pentagon officials had proposed sending in a further 4,000 to train Afghan forces and fight the Taliban and an affiliate of terror group Islamic State.

There are also about 500 British troops there and around a further 85 had been promised in non-combat roles.


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