"Attack we will" says President: Matt's Memo
President Trump always appears more at ease when ad libing to an arena full of supporters rather than reading from a teleprompter in a controlled environment. But there are Presidential moments when sticking to the script is critical. This was one of those nights. The President talked to the American people about upping the ante in Afghanistan.
At the urging of his military commanders he will send in an unannounced number of additional troops. He also said he will ease some of the rules of engagement to give leaders on the ground more leeway to engage the enemy. He promises to push back the growing control of the country by the Taliban, win the war and demand aid from neighboring nations like Pakistan.
The President's speech pointed to the buried war dead in nearby Arlington National Cemetery as motivation for increased support to win in Afghanistan. He noted there are several members of the military buried there who enlisted after 9/11 with the intent of keeping Americans safe from terrorist attacks.
Many in his party are supporting this new stance tonight. Predictably democrats not so much. What he did not answer publicly was how many troops and how long would they be in country. President Trump let the world know he has no plans to answer those questions or an even more critical one: when do you plan to attack? He wants to keep the information advantage. Fair to say the escalating approach is already underway.
Full transcript of the President's remarks on Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.