President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor H.R. McMaster joined a chorus of former security aides who have taken shots at the administration, blasting the troop drawdown in Afghanistan that the president has accelerated this fall.
McMaster tells CBS ‘60 Minutes‘ that the policy amounts to ‘partnering’ with the Taliban while Trump seeks to extract the nation from its longest war.
‘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,’ 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,’ said former White House Naitnal Security Advisor H.R. McMaster
‘And so, I think that it’s an unwise policy. And I think what we require in Afghanistan is a sustained commitment to help the Afghan government,’ he continued.
He writes in his new book, ‘Battlegrounds,’ that the policy ‘cheapened’ the sacrifices of U.S. forces in the country in a war dating back to 2001. Afghan and Taliban representatives began meeting this month in Doha for the start of talks, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Doha to help commence them.
The military has announced drawdown from 5,200 to 3,000 as Trump seeks to fulfill pledge to end ‘endless wars’ by Election Day.
McMaster is a retired Army Lt. General who served as Trump’s national security advisor after the sudden resignation of Gen. Mike Flynn just weeks into the Trump Administration.
His pushback comes after a scathing tell-all by his successor, John Bolton, and an explosive story in the Atlantic quoting unnamed officials who said Trump called fallen troops ‘suckers’ and ‘losers.’
The military has announced a planned drawdown to 3,000 U.S. troops
President Donald Trump, right, listens as Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, talks at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, where Trump announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser. McMaster criticizes the nation’s Afghan policy in his new book
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with the Taliban political affairs chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha, Qatar, on September 12, 2020
Afghan Taliban fighters and villagers attend a gathering as they celebrate the peace deal signed between US and Taliban in Laghman Province, Alingar district on March 2, 2020
McMaster told the program the threat to the U.S. remains in Afghanistan, even as Trump seeks to accelerate a gradual withdrawal.
‘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 mujahideen-era alumni of the resistance to Soviet occupation in Afghanistan,’ he said.
‘Today, we are facing an Al-Qaeda and an ISIS alumni that is orders of magnitude greater than that mujahideen-era alumni ever was. And they also have access to much more destructive capabilities.’