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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 22, 2017 2:00am-2:31am BST

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welcome to this bbc news special. i'm jane o'brien, in washington. in just moments, president trump will address the nation and lay out his strategy for afghanistan. already america's longest war, we will soon learn if more us troops will be deployed, and what his administration's approach will be to help secure the country for the future. welcome to this bbc news special. we are standing by for president trump to announce his administration's strategy to handle the ongoing conflict in afghanistan. in a rare prime—time address, the president will talk to us troops and the american public about the number of forces deployed there, and whether more will be sent to the region. 16 years after the war which was sparked by the attacks on 9/11, the taliban insurgency
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in afghanistan has not yet been defeated, and the islamic state group is also active in the region. with me throughout the next hour is brigadier general mark kimmitt, who formerly served as deputy assistant secretary of defence for middle east policy, omar samad, who was afghanistan's ambassador to france and canada, and ron christie, who was a special advisor to george w bush. welcome to you all, thank you very much indeed forjoining me. in general, i would like to start with you. this is obviously a big military question. what are you looking for from the president tonight? well, first of all i think iam tonight? well, first of all i think i am looking for a coherent strategy. president trump has been opposed to the us presence inside of afghanistan for some years, but now that he is president, now that he has listened to his military advisers... general, he is actually coming up to the podium. he is on
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time, one of those rare moments, but to carry on until he actually start speaking. we will listen in. thank you, please be seated. vice president p, secretary of state tillotson, members of the cabinet, general dunford, deputy secretary shanahan, and colonel duggan. most especially to you, the men and women of fort myer and every member of the united states military at home and abroad. we send our thoughts and prayers to the families of our brave sages who were injured and lost after a tragic collision at sea, as well as to those conducting the search and recovery efforts —— brave soldiers. i am search and recovery efforts —— brave soldiers. iam here search and recovery efforts —— brave soldiers. i am here tonight the layout up half forward in afghanistan and south asia. —— to
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lay out our half forward. but before i provide the details of our new strategy, i want to save a few words to the service members here with us tonight. to those watching from their posts, and to all americans listening at home. since the founding of our republic, our country has produced a special class of heroes, whose selflessness, courage and resolve is unmatched in human history. american patriots from every generation have given their last breath on the battlefield, for our nation, and for oui’ battlefield, for our nation, and for our freedom. battlefield, for our nation, and for ourfreedom. through battlefield, for our nation, and for our freedom. through their lives, and though their lives were cut short, in their deeds they achieved total immortality. by following their heroic example of those who
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fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify, to heal, and to remain one nation under god. the men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission, and one shared sense of purpose. they transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed and colour, to serve together, and sacrifice together, in absolutely perfect cohesion. that is because all service members are brothers and sisters. they are all part of the same family. it is called the american family. they take the same oath, fight for the same flag, and live according to the same law. they
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are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust, and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other. the soldier understands what we asa other. the soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget. that wound inflict did upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. —— i. when one part of america has, we all hurt, and when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. love for america requires love for all of its people. when we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and
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no tolerance for hate. the young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. we cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other. as we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas, and we will always win, let us find the courage to heal oui’ win, let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. let us make a simple promise to the men and women we asked to fight in our name, that when they return home from rattle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one “— loyalty that unite us together as one —— battle. thanks to the vigilance and skill of the american
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military, and of our many allies throughout the world, horrors on the scale of september 11, and nobody can ever forget that, have not been repeated on our shores. and we must acknowledge the reality i am here to talk about tonight. nearly 16 years after the september 11 attacks, after the september 11 attacks, after the september 11 attacks, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the american people are weary of war without victory. nowhere is this more evident than with the war in afghanistan. the longest war in american history, 17 years. i share the american people's frustration. i also share their frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too
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much time, energy, money, and most importantly lives, trying to rebuild countries in our own image, instead of pursuing our security interests above all other considerations. that is why, shortly after my inauguration, i directed secretary of defence mattis and my national security team to undertaker comprehends a review of all strategic options in afghanistan and south asia —— undertake a comprehensive review. my original instinct was to pull out, and historically, i like following my instinct. but all my life i have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the oval office. in other words, when you are president of the united states. so i studied
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afghanistan in great detail, and from every conceivable angle. after many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting many meetings, over many months, we held ourfinal meeting last many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last friday at camp david, with my cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy. i arrived at three fundamental conclusions about america's core interest in afghanistan. first, our nation must seek an honourable and ensuring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. the men and women who serve oui’ lives. the men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. they deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and to win. second, the consequences of a rapid exit are
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both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terror attack in our oui’ 9/11, the worst terror attack in our our history, was planned and developed from afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorist. a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including isis and al qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before september 11. and as happened before september 11. and as we know, in 2011, america hastily and mistakenly withdrew from iraq. asa and mistakenly withdrew from iraq. as a result, our hard—won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorist enemies. our soldiers watched as cities they had fought
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for and lead to liberate, and one, we re for and lead to liberate, and one, were occupied by a terrorist group called isis. —— won. the vacuum we left gave safe haven for isis to spread, to grow, recruit and launch attacks. we cannot repeat in afghanistan the mistake leaders made in iraq. third and finally, i concluded that the security threats we face in afghanistan and the broader region are in its. —— are immense. today, 20 terrorist organisations are active in afghanistan and pakistan, the highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world. for its part, pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and
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terror. the threat is worse because pakistan and india are two nuclear armed states whose tense relations threatened to spiral into conflict, and that could happen. no one denies that we have inherited a challenging and troubling situation in afghanistan and south asia. but we do not have the luxury of going back in time and making different or better decisions. when i became president, i was given a bad and very complex hand. but i fully knew what i was getting into. big and intricate problems. at one way or another these problems will be solved. i am a problem solver, and in the end, we will win. we must address the reality of the world as it exists right now. the threats we
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face and the confronting of all of the problems of today, an extremely predictable consequence of a hasty withdrawal. we need look no further than last week's weill, vicious attack in barcelona to understand that terror groups. at nothing to commit the mass murder of innocent men, women and children —— vile. you saw it for yourself, horrible. as i outlined in my speech in saudi arabia three months ago, america and oui’ arabia three months ago, america and our partners arabia three months ago, america and oui’ partners are arabia three months ago, america and our partners are committed to stripping terrorists of their territory, cutting off their funding, and exposing the false allure of that evil ideology. terrorists who slaughter innocent people will find no glory in this life or the next. they are nothing
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but thugs and criminals, and predators, and that's right, losers. working alongside our allies, we will break their will, dry up there at recruitment, keep them from crossing our borders, and yes, we will defeat them, and we will defeat them handily. in afghanistan and pakistan, america's interests are clear. we must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten america, and we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists, and being used against us, or anywhere in the world, for that matter. to prosecute this war, we will learn from history will stop as a result of our conference of review, the american strategy in afghanistan and south asia will change dramatically
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in the following ways: eight core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time based approach to one based on conditions. —— a core. i have said it many times how counter—productive it is that the united states to announce in advance the dates that we intend to begin or end military operations. we will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. conditions on the ground, not a retreat timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. —— not arbitrary. i will not say when we are going to attack, but at tack we will. —— but attack we will. a fundamental pillar of our strategy
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is diplomatic economic, and military, towards successful outcomes. someday, after an effective notary effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political sentiment that includes elements of the taliban in afghanistan, but never dingos if and when that will ever happen. america will continue its support to the afghan government. —— but nobody knows. ultimately, it is up to the people of afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace. we are partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the afghan people had to leave, or how to govern their own complex society. —— how to live. we are not nation—building again. we
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are not nation—building again. we are killing terrorists. the next pillar of our new strategy is to change the approach and how to deal with pakistan. we can no longer be silent about pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations, the taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our aims in afghanistan. it has a lot to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists. in the past, pakistan has been a valued partner. our military ‘s have worked together against common enemies. the pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. —— militaries. we recognise those contributions and sacrifices. but pakistan has also shot at the same organisations that
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try every single day to kill our people. we have been paying pakistan billions and billions of dollars. at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. but that will have to change, and that will change immediately. no partnership can survive a country's harbouring of enemies, and terrorists that target us service members and officials. it is time for pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace. another critical part of the south asia strategy for america is to further develop a strategic partnership with india, the world's largest democracy, and a key security and economic partner of the united states. we appreciate india's important contributions to stability in afghanistan. but india next
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billions of dollars in trade with the united states, and we want them to help us more with afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development. we are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace and security in south asia, and the broader indo pacific region. finally, my administration will ensure that you, the grey defenders of the united states, will have the tools to work effectively and quickly. i have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on oui’ war previous administration placed on our warfighters previous administration placed on our war fighters that prevented the secretary of defence and our commanders on the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy. micromanagement from washington, dc does not win battles.
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they are one in the field, drawing upon thejudgement they are one in the field, drawing upon the judgement and expertise of wartime commanders and frontline soldiers, acting in real—time with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy. that is why we will also expand authority for american armed forces to target the terrorist and criminal networks that so violence and chaos throughout afghanistan. these killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no places beyond the reach of american might and american arms. retribution will be fast and powerful, as we lift restrictions and expand authority in the field. we're already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat isis, the liberation of mosul
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in iraq. since my administration, we have seen record breaking success in that regard. we will also see sanctions and other law enforcement actions against these networks to eliminate their ability to export terror. america commits its warriors to battle, and we must ensure that they have every weapon to employ swift, at the site, and overwhelming force. our troops will fight to win. they will fight to win. from now on, victory will have a clear definition. attacking our enemies, but was reading isis, crushing al qaeda. —— obliterating isis. preventing the taliban from taking over afghanistan. and stopping mass terror attacks against america before they emerge. we will ask our nato allies and global partners to support our new strategy with
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additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. we are confident they will. since taking office, i have made clear that our allies and partners must contribute much more money to our collective defence, and they have done so. in this struggle, the heaviest burden will continue to be borne by the good people of afghanistan and their courageous armed forces. as the prime minister of afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us. afghanistan is fighting to defend a secure their country against the same enemies that threaten us. the stronger the afg ha n that threaten us. the stronger the afghan security forces become, the less we will have to do. afghanistan will secure and build its own
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nation, and define its own future. we wa nt nation, and define its own future. we want them to succeed. but we will no longer use american military might to construct democracies in faraway lands, or try to rebuild other countries in our own image. those days and are now over. instead, we will work with allies and partners to protect our shared interests. we a re and partners to protect our shared interests. we are not asking others to change their way of life, but to pursue common goals that allow our children to live better and safer lives. this principled realism will guide our decisions, moving forward. military power alone will not bring peace to afghanistan or stop the terrorist threat arising in that country. but strategically applied force aims to create the conditions force aims to create the conditions for a political process to a achieve a lasting peace. america will work with the afghan government, as long
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as we see determination and progress. however, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank cheque. the government of afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden. the american people expect to see real reforms, real progress, and real results. our patience is not unlimited. we will keep our eyes wide open, and abiding by the oath that i took onjanuary the 20th, i will remain stead fast in protecting american lives and american interests. in this effort, we will make a common cause with any nation that chooses to stand alongside a fight with us against this global threat. terrorists take heed: america will never let up
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until you are dealt a lasting defeat. under my administration, many billions of dollars more is being spent on our military, and this includes vast amounts being spent on our nuclear arsenal, and missile defence. in every generation, we have faced down evil, and we have always prevailed. we prevailed because we know who we are and what we are fighting for. not farfrom and what we are fighting for. not far from where we are tonight, hundreds of thousands of america's greatest patriots laid to rest at arlington national cemetery. there is more courage, sacrifice and love in those grounds than in any other spot on the face of the earth. many of those who have fought and died in afghanistan enlisted in the months
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after september 11, 2001. they volunteered for a simple reason. they loved america and were determined to protect her. now we must secure the cause for which they gave their lives. we must unite to defend america from its enemies abroad. we must restore the ones of loyalty amongst our citizens at home, and we must achieve an honourable and enduring outcome worthy of the enormous price that so many have paid. our actions in the months to come, all of them, will honour the sacrifice of every fallen hero. every family that lost a loved one. and every word warrior that shed their blood in defence of our great nation. with our resolve, we will ensure that your service, and
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that yourfamilies, will ensure that your service, and that your families, will bring about the defeat of our enemies, and the arrival of peace. we will push onward to victory with power in our hearts, courage in our souls, and an everlasting pride in each and every one of you. thank you, may god bless our military, and may god bless the united states of america. they do very much. thank you. —— thank you very much. thank you. —— thank you very much. and that was donald trump, there, speaking at fort myers, outlaying
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history g for afghanistan in the region. and a reminder of the panel that i am joined by tonight. i'm joined by brigadier general mark kimmet, omarsamad, and joined by brigadier general mark kimmet, omar samad, and ron christie, an adviser to george matt every. we heard nothing about crew, troop increases. what did you hear in that speech that would indicate you how the president intends to achieve victory? what i heard is that the president did not want to give away any information to the enemy. how many troops we are going to put on the ground, that will be a decision of the commanders on the ground, not like a match from back here in washington, dc. in terms of the conditions, i think one of the
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reasons the talent that have been successful over the last two years is the fact that they know that the americans are pulling out. there are some specific timelines. when barack obama announced his surge, he and muslim will going in and also one will coming out. citing what the present was try to do was to differentiate himself from the last one. “— differentiate himself from the last one. —— he announced when we were going in and also when we were coming out. so tactics, but what about policy? what about strategy?” heard there that this was not a military plan alone, but a comprehensive plan to use a term from britain: a south asian plan, not a military plane. i was surprised that he talked tough on pakistan, and even more surprised that i didn't hear him say anything about the russian interference or the rainy and interference. because
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those outside countries that are meddling in afghanistan are causing many of the problems. this is not a military solution. that is where rex tillerson comes in with the to dramatic ever. —— mackerel, -- iranian —— iranian interference. -- iranian interference. what did you hear? i do hear strategy in there. ido you hear? i do hear strategy in there. i do see, as the general said, a conference of approach that wants to deal with the given what it —— to dramatic plank, the financial plank, as well as measures against those supporting the telephone, and the military one, of course. i also hear a the military one, of course. i also heara sigh of the military one, of course. i also hear a sigh of relief across


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