Former national security advisor H.R. McMaster heavily criticized the Trump administration for its ongoing Afghanistan withdrawal talks in Doha, Qatar arguing the President is making the United States “less safe.”
In a recent interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes, McMaster said, “I think what [President Trump] did with this new policy, is he, in effect, is partnering with the Taliban against, in many ways, the Afghan government.” He added that the U.S. should reaffirm its commitment to the Afghani government by continuing its troop presence in the region.
In his recently published book entitled, Battlegrounds, McMaster hammered Trump for his Afghanistan policy. He claimed that the President is “cheapening” the lives of the American troops who fought and died in the two-decade long conflict.
The incendiary comments follow a string of accusations made by former White House staff members, including former national security advisor John Bolton, who lambasted the President for his decision making in the foreign policy arena.
McMaster says terrorist organizations are now stronger than before
“Terrorist organizations who pose a threat to us are stronger now than they were on September 10, 2001. Those who perpetrated the mass murder attacks of 9/11 were the mujahedeen-era alumni of the resistance to Soviet occupation in Afghanistan,” McMaster said on the TV program.
For President Trump, criticism from former White House insiders is far from a new occurrence. Whether the public opinion is with him or McMaster can be seen in recent polling data on the Afghanistan conflict.
A recent poll conducted by the Brookings Institution found that American public opinion was uncharacteristically conservative towards the conflict, with 44% of respondents saying they felt the U.S. had an obligation to Afghanistan’s government and people. 42% of respondents favored talks with the Taliban while 41% opposed such a move.
Optically, this can either help or hurt Trump’s election chances as the results are almost perfectly divided. November will be the ultimate decision-maker for the American people on a whole slew of issues, including Afghanistan.
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