In an interview that aired on the CBS News program Face the Nation Sunday morning, Donald Trump appeared to waffle on his commitment, announced in December, to pull United States troops out of Syria — while also appearing to say that he would launch a second U.S. invasion of Afghanistan if terrorist groups took hold in the country following the departure of American forces.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, as the BBC recounts, about a month after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City, and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. The attacks were ordered by Osama bin Laden, leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist group, which was then based in Afghanistan.
U.S. troops have remained in the country ever since, making the nearly 18-year campaign the longest-lasting war in American history. Trump has said that he will order troops out of Afghanistan, as Politico reported, but critics have said that a unilateral end to U.S. involvement will allow terrorist groups scubas Al Qaeda and others to take root in the country once again.
Speaking to CBS, Trump dismissed those concerns, saying that if terrorist groups returned, he would simply order a new invasion of Afghanistan, because the U.S. has “very fast planes.”
“You know what we’ll do? We’ll come back if we have to. We have very fast airplanes, we have very good cargo planes. We can come back very quickly, and I’m not leaving,” Trump told CBS interviewer Margaret Brennan. “We have a base in Iraq and the base is a fantastic edifice. I mean I was there recently, and I couldn’t believe the money that was spent on these massive runways. And these — I’ve rarely seen anything like it. And it’s there. And we’ll be there.”
Trump also appeared to back down on his intention, stated in a December Twitter message as Inquisitr reported, to fully withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
“They’ll be going to our base in Iraq, and ultimately some will be coming home. But we’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying,” Trump said, siting Israeli security as his rationale for softening his pledge, according to the Israel National News site. “We have to protect Israel. We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re — yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time. Look, we’re protecting the world.”