President Donald Trump may be eager to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan, but he won’t rule out sending forces back into the fight if this is needed, he revealed in an inteview with CBS News’ Margaret Brennan, which was aired on Feburary 3.
“And you know what we’ll do? We’ll come back if we have to,” Trump answered to a quuestion about possible resurgence of ISIS and al-Qaeda after the US troops withdrwal. “We have very fast airplanes, we have very good cargo planes. We can come back very quickly, and I’m not leaving. ”
“You’re going to always have pockets of something. What– you’re going to have people, like the one armed man who blew up a restaurant. You’re going to have pockets,” he added. “But you’re not going to keep armies there because you have a few people. Or you even have fairly reasonable numbers of people. We’ve been there for many, many years. We were supposed to be in Syria for four months. We’ve been there for years.”
The US President also officially confirmed that Washington is holding peace talks with the Taliban.
“We’ve been there for 19 years, almost, we are fighting very well. We’re fighting harder than ever before. And I think that they will- I think they’re tired and, I think everybody’s tired,” he said. “We got to get out of these endless wars and bring our folks back home. Now, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to be watching with intelligence. We’re going to be watching, and watching closely.”
Additionally, Trump revelaed that the US “spend $50 Billion a year in Afghanistan and have hit them so hard that we are now talking peace…”.
I inherited a total mess in Syria and Afghanistan, the “Endless Wars” of unlimited spending and death. During my campaign I said, very strongly, that these wars must finally end. We spend $50 Billion a year in Afghanistan and have hit them so hard that we are now talking peace…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2019
Therefore, Trump admitted that Washington spend almost a trillion of dollars on the 18-year long war in Afghanistan. However, the US acheived almost no effect if one compare the declared goals and the real achievements.
The US invaded Afghanistan after 9/11. Washington claimed that under the Taliban al-Qaeda was able to use Afghanistan as a place to train and indoctrinate fighters, import weapons, coordinate with other jihadists, and plot terrorist actions. So, the group as well as al-Qaeda has to be defeated. In 2019, the US President publicly admitted that Washington is holding talks with the Taliban, the group described of being affilated with al-Qaeda and thus linked to the 9/11 attacks.
At the same time, the 18-year long US invasion in Afghainistan did not prevent the spread of terrorism as it was formally intended. During this period, ideas of radical Islam expanded across the Greater Middle East contributing to destabilization of the region and the creation of ISIS.
However, Trump’s public intention to withdraw forces from Syria and Afghanistan does not mean that the US leadership will not decrease its overseas military presence significantly. The main reason is that the reduction of spending in this field, including salaries and compensations to US service members and the government’s defence orders, will impact negatively the US economy. The military industrial complex is a key part of the US industry and the US leadership understands this.