Trump resented having to sign letters for US troops killed in Afghanistan during his presidency because he didn’t want to ‘attach his name to a war he disliked’: book

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Then President Donald Trump and then Vice President Mike Pence inspect the honorable transfer of two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan to the Dover Air Force Base, Del., Feb.10, 2020.Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images

  • Trump opposed the signing of letters “killed in action” to “attach his name” to what was considered the commander-in-chief of the war in Afghanistan.

  • NYT reporter Maggie Haberman detailed Trump’s views on the nearly 20-year war.

  • In 2019 Trump spoke about the difficulties of signing letters to the families of service members killed in the conflict.

Years before Donald Trump assumed office as president in 2016, he expressed strong opposition to the US presence in Afghanistan against the war that began after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks overthrew the Taliban-led government. given, that he will emerge victorious. 2021.

In August 2012, Trump tweeted that Afghanistan was “completely doomed” and said it was time for US troops “to go home”.

But during the GOP presidential debate in March 2016, Trump’s message changed: “Well, about Afghanistan, I meant Iraq. I guess you will have to live in Afghanistan for a while, because you are right next to Pakistan. We have nuclear weapons and we need to protect them.

However, within months of his first White House term, President Trump seemed uncomfortable with the war in Afghanistan and opposed the signing of the “Killed in Action” letters which, in his spirit, tied him to a conflict. was. According to a new book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, he personally didn’t like him, but he watches anyway.

in the book “Confidence man,” Haberman wrote, adding that Trump, who has generally focused on North Korea when it comes to international affairs, wanted to end the conflict in Afghanistan but met resistance.

“It has reviewed North Korea and its nuclear capabilities, instructing its National Security Council to prepare a menu of options, ranging from the equivalent of destruction to total pacification and a range of in-between possibilities. One option. high profile involved personal contact with the country’s lone leader, Kim Jong-un, but it took months for that option to materialize, “he wrote.

He continued: “Trump worried about keeping an election promise, but he hit the aide who seemed troubled by the number of deaths involved; over time, he got irritated with every “Killed in Action” letter. Gaya who was forced to sign after the death of a soldier, not wanting to add his name to a war he didn’t like and his unnecessary deaths.

The war in Afghanistan caused 2,324 US troops and 3,917 contractors, according to Brown University’s Cost of War project. A battle was fought under the direction of four American commanders-in-chief, their secretaries of defense, and the officers who referred to them.

All of these presidents, and they alone, had the power to end American involvement in the war.

Like Trump, Biden has promised to end the conflict and acknowledge the possibility of a Taliban victory – which happened so quickly that it took Biden and his top advisors by surprise – but that’s just Trump. that would comfort the army family, he had tried to absolve himself of this responsibility. emotionally render the task many presidents have struggled with.

In October 2019, Trump recalls the difficulties of signing letters to the families of military personnel killed in the conflict.

He said at the time: “The hardest thing I have to do is sign these letters. It is the hardest thing I have to do. “

He continued: “And every letter is different. Let’s make each letter different. And last week I signed them for Afghanistan; one in Iraq; one in Syria, 2 weeks ago. And sometimes I call the parents. I’m going to Dover, [Delaware] When I can, but it’s – it’s so devastating to parents that – you know.

As a candidate and then president, Trump has repeatedly been embroiled in controversy centered around the families of the killed soldiers. The widow of an army officer says the president forgot her late husband’s name during a condolence call. Trump has reportedly questioned Point of a Marine’s sacrifice to his father at Arlington National Cemetery. He even suggested he contracted COVID-19 Meeting Gold Star Families.

In February 2020, the Trump administration signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, setting the framework for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan that would hasten the fall of the US-backed government.

President Joe Biden is ready to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, in a widely denounced chaotic process, despite the unpopularity of the war. In August 2021, respondents accused former President George W. Bush of longer commitments than any other US leader.

Trump, for his part, criticized Biden for the withdrawal, despite his administration’s attempt to broker a sudden withdrawal. delay and absence of an evacuation plan for the Americans and Afghans working with them.

This issue will surely come to the fore if the two face off in the presidential rematch scheduled for 2024.

read the original article on Business Insider

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