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News Link • Afghanistan

Trump commits U.S. to open-ended Afghanistan war; Taliban vow 'graveyard'

• Steve Holland and Hamid Shalizi

Trump offered few specifics in a speech on Monday but promised a stepped-up military campaign against the Taliban who have gained ground against U.S.-backed Afghan government forces. He also singled out Pakistan for harboring militants in safe havens on its soil.

Trump, who had in the past advocated a U.S. withdrawal, acknowledged he was going against his instincts in approving the new campaign plan sought by his military advisers but said he was convinced that leaving posed more risk.

"The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable," he said. "A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill."

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