Smith Statement on Trump’s Lack of a Plan for Afghanistan

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about President Trump’s announcement on the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan:

“This is not a plan. The President has announced that he is committing to an open-ended war effort in Afghanistan without clearly explaining to the American people or the service members he is sending into harm’s way what he wants and how he intends to accomplish his goals. That is inexcusable. He now owns the responsibility for this war and any consequences that flow from this decision-making process.

“Some of the objectives he restated last night are familiar from the Obama and Bush administrations, including American support for establishing a sustainable peace through political reconciliation and the need to support those efforts using a whole-of-government approach to the region. But many of the principles he laid out were vague, and he made almost zero effort to explain how he will achieve these objectives.

“The President may wish to focus only on broad principles, but it is insufficient for the commander-in-chief to avoid communicating a workable plan for addressing the inherent risks and challenges. The President owes the American people a much clearer explanation of how he intends to implement his regional strategy, and Americans should be concerned that he plans to deploy more men, women, and resources without such an explanation.”