President Trump expected to approve 4,000 additional U.S. troops in Afghanistan
Do you support an increase in troop levels?
President Trump, in his first prime-time address since January, is expected to address the nation tonight on "a path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia." That path includes an expected approval of around 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, continuing a conflict approaching its sixteenth year. Before he was elected as president, Trump routinely called for a complete of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. There are currently 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, and the latest deployment will bring that figure to nearly 12,400.
Address will also put new pressure on Pakistan, safe havens for terrorists:
How will recently ousted - and chief isolationist - Steve Bannon react?
Bannon, formerly the Chief Strategist for the White House, has long been opposed to any additional troops in Afghanistan. Deployment - in Bannon's view - is favored by the "globalists," and at odds with the "America First" strategy that helped propel Trump to the White House.
But tonight's announcement will officially usher in the Post-Bannon era, both in subject and in tone: Bannon was a key influence in President Trump's "American Carnage" inauguration speech, and tonight's speech asking for American's "trust" in continuing the nation's longest war will likely have to strike a different tone.
"One of Trump’s campaign promises that had helped him reach into new voting blocs had been his promise to reduce America’s presence abroad so as to put “America First."
"In January, he reiterated his skeptical approach to foreign policy adventurism in his inaugural address, saying: “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families."
"But with a strong globalist contingent firmly embedded in the White House — including not only many Cabinet members but also members of Trump’s family — the Trump administration has been slowly moving more and more toward more intervention abroad."
After his exit last week, Bannon told the Weekly Standard that he will remain in support of President Trump: “I’ll always be here covering for you," Bannon said.