US Troops Are Not For Serving As Law Enforcement Agency For Others: Trump (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Stating that the peace talks with the Taliban are underway, President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to bring the US troops back from war-torn Afghanistan and said that American soldiers are not serving other nations as "a law enforcement agency." Trump in November announced the resumption of peace talks with the Taliban, but refused to give a timeline for the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan during his unannounced visit to the American soldiers stationed in the country.
After nine rounds of negotiations with the Taliban, Trump in September called off the peace talks after a US service member was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. "In Afghanistan, the determination and valour of our warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are underway. I am not looking to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, many of them innocent," Trump said during his 3rd State of the Union address to the US Congress.
"It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency. These are warfighters, the best in the world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all. We are working to finally end America's longest war and bring our troops back home," he said. Trump hopes to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 8,600, but has not given a timeline. The US currently has less than 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, but military officials would not confirm the exact number.
Afghan officials have long demanded a ceasefire but the Taliban, who now control more territory than at any point since they were ousted in 2001, have refused to hold direct talks with the government until a US deal is agreed. Trump also said that the US is also working to end America's wars in the Middle East. Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 square miles (51,799 sq kms) of territory in Iraq and Syria, he said.
"Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS - the bloodthirsty killer (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi- is dead," he said. Trump in October announced that Baghdadi "is dead" in a secret US special forces raid in northwest Syria, saying the elusive leader of the "ruthless" Islamic State and the world's number one terrorist died "like a dog and like a coward". He said that his administration was strongly defending the country's national security and combating radical Islamic terrorism.
"Last week, I announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Recognising that all past attempts have failed, we must be determined and creative in order to stabilise the region and give millions of young people the change to realise a better future," he said. President Trump last week said that Jerusalem "will remain Israel's undivided capital" as he unveiled his Middle East peace plan aimed at solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, describing it as historic and a "giant step" towards peace.