World

Trump to unveil strategy for war in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: It will be US President Donald Trump's turn today (Singapore time) to address a problem that vexed his two predecessors when he details his strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

In a prime-time speech to the nation, Mr Trump may announce a modest increase in troops, as recommended by his senior advisers.

He has long been sceptical of the US approach in the region, where the Afghan war is in its 16th year.

Mr Trump had announced a strategic review soon after taking office and has privately questioned if sending more troops was wise.

"We're not winning," he told advisers in mid-July, questioning if Army General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, should be fired.

Mr Trump reached his decision on Afghanistan after lengthy talks with his top military and national security aides last Friday.

A White House statement on Sunday said the President would "provide an update on the path forward for America's engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia".

An official said the likeliest outcome was that he would agree to a modest increase in US troops, which currently number about 8,400.

"I took over a mess, and we're going to make it a lot less messy," Mr Trump said when asked about Afghanistan earlier this month.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has argued that a US military presence is needed to protect against the ongoing threat from militants. - REUTERS

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