A day after US president Donald Trump spelled out his strategy on Afghanistan, the New York Times said that “his plan amounted to a jumble of ideas that lacked detail and coherence and were often contradictory”.
The Editorial titled “Mr. Trump on Afghanistan: More of the Same; No End in Sight” also said that Pakistan has been playing “double games” in the region.
“Any successful strategy must consider the regional context and, to some extent, Mr. Trump did that. He took a tough tone on Pakistan, which has long played a double game, taking billions of dollars in aid from Washington while giving safe haven to the Taliban and other militants; the president hinted that some aid could be withheld. Mr. Trump might have further angered Pakistan by urging India to provide more economic aid to Afghanistan; Pakistan is already unsettled by India’s $1 billion investment in Afghanistan and will be unhappier still if that is increased,” the editorial said.
Questioning Trump’s plan to increase US troops in Afghanistan, it said, “New troops will be required, he suggested, but he did not say how many (there are 8,400 there now). Nor did he explain, much less guarantee, how a few thousand more troops could succeed when the more than 100,000 troops deployed during the Obama administration did not.”
The Taliban, however, warned that Afghanistan would become a “graveyard” for the US after Trump cleared the way for thousands more American troops to be sent to the war-torn country.
“If America doesn’t withdraw its troops, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had said in a statement.