Fort Myer, VA–In a widely anticipated foreign policy speech on Monday, President Trump laid out a bold new branding strategy for the War in Afghanistan. He also offered some important insights into his decision-making process.
Trump explained to the audience that his original instinct on Afghanistan was to pull US troops out, a position he has expressed openly for several years. But he ultimately came to a different conclusion now that he is president.
As he summarized, “I usually follow my instincts, except when they’re right.”*
Trump reportedly talked extensively about the decision with the generals in his cabinet, who bring an unprecedented amount of experience on the matter of losing wars.
Trump said he carefully weighed all of the different options presented to him by the military–from adding a few thousand troops, adding tens of thousands of troops, adding hundreds of thousands of troops, or preemptively nuking an unrelated third country in South Asia–and he wisely concluded that adding a few thousand troops and changing the definition of victory was the best path forward.
The generals also publicly said they were satisfied with the deliberative process that went into arriving at their predetermined policy outcome.
*This is a satirical post. In the actual speech, Trump said he usually follows his instincts but that things look different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. The discussion of options is also fictional, but it alludes to the tradition of the US military providing limited options to presidents in order to push its own position. Using a sports reference, President Obama described it as getting “jammed”.