Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to meet its leaders and US troops but the true purpose was to assure Afghan leaders that the US was going to stay in Afghanistan for the long haul and the commitment for the Afghan people was strong.
Pence whisked into Afghanistan on a military flight early Thursday. He then flew by helicopter to Kabul, where he met President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at the presidential palace.
Pence told the leaders he hoped his presence there was tangible evidence that the United States was “here to see this through.”
In a reversal of his campaign call for a swift withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Trump in August pledged a stepped-up military campaign against Taliban insurgents and signaled the United States would send more troops to fight in what is the longest war in its history.
At the end of August, there were some 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and more have since arrived.
Ghani expressed gratitude to the U.S. government and said Afghanistan’s partnership with the United States was cemented in sacrifice.
Pence told reporters the strategy of increased troops on the ground and greater authorities for military leaders was paying dividends.
Pence told Afghan officials that President Trump’s campaign will see it through for stability for Afghanistan and the defeat of the Taliban but deferred to the press to President Trump when asked if the U.S. will commit more troops.
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