Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Taliban responds to Trump's Afghan strategy

Armed group warns that the US president is wasting soldiers' lives by sending thousands more troops to the country.

The Afghan Taliban has warned Donald Trump is "wasting" American soldiers' lives after the US president approved sending thousands more troops to the war-ravaged country.


Trump vows US will keep fighting in Afghanistan

World reacts to Trump's new strategy on Afghan war

Timeline: US intervention in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2017

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Afghanistan would become a "graveyard" for the US on Tuesday after dismissing Trump's strategy as vague and offering "nothing new".

"If America doesn't withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century," he said.

In his first formal address to the US as commander-in-chief, Trump backtracked from his election pledge to end the US' longest war that has dragged on for nearly 16 years.

Since taking office in January, Trump said he has realised that withdrawing could create a vacuum for groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) to exploit.

Though his speech was billed as an announcement of his updated Afghanistan policy, Trump offered few specific details.

He did not, for example, provide a number of the additional troops that would be sent to the war.

READ MORE: SIGAR questions millions spent in Afghanistan

The US currently has around 8,400 troops in the country, down from a peak of about 100,000 troops in 2010 and 2011, with around 5,000 from NATO allies assisting a much larger Afghan force in the war against the Taliban and other armed groups.

A senior Taliban commander told the AFP news agency that Trump was perpetuating the "arrogant behaviour" of previous US presidents, such as George Bush.

"He is just wasting American soldiers. We know how to defend our country. It will not change anything.

"For generations, we have fought this war, we are not scared, we are fresh, and we will continue this war until our last breath."

The war in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001, after the September 11 attacks, has claimed the lives of more than 2,200 US troops and cost more than $800bn.

There is no official figure of the number of Afghan civilians killed, but estimates range between 25,000-30,000. According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), at least 1,662 civilians were killed between January 1 and June 30 this year.

While Trump has refused to offer detailed figures, senior White House officials said he had already authorised his James Mattis, the defence secretary, to deploy up to 3,900 more soldiers.

In his speech, Trump also lambasted ally Pakistan for offering safe haven to "agents of chaos".

"We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," he said.

"It is time for Pakistan to dedicate to civilization and order and peace."

A commander from the Taliban-allied Haqqani network told the AFP news agency that Trump's speech was proof of "a Crusade".

"His statement has proved that he wants to eliminate the entire Muslim [community]," he said.

Prior to Trump's announcement, the Taliban had written an open letter warning him not to send more troops and calling for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Pakistan: Death toll rises to 149 i...

Read More

Afghanistan: Civilian deaths hit re...

Read More

Suicide bomb blast near Afghan mini...

Read More

133 dead after two separate attacks...

Read More

Pakistan secular party defiant afte...

Read More

Afghan asylum seeker deported from ...

Read More


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:


Demonstrations erupt in Diyala and Nasiriyah following days of clashes in Basra that left at least seven people dead.

Read More



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

Thailand cave boys

2018 World Cup