WASHINGTON: The United States now has a new, ‘sustainable’ strategy for fighting Islamic terrorism, which seeks to end long, drawn-out wars, says US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
“President Trump very much wants to end these long, drawn-out [wars] — 17 years now in Afghanistan,” said the chief US diplomat while explaining how the new, multi-pronged approach was different from the policies of the previous US administrations.
In an interview with Martha MacCallum of Fox News on Wednesday, Pompeo, however, emphasised that President Trump was not against deploying US troops when needed.
“President Trump will … look at each situation and make the best decision on how to approach it. If it requires American forces to be someplace, we’ll do that,” he said.
Religious terrorism in the Islamic world, Pompeo said, was still a major threat to the US and its allies but President Trump wants to avoid knee-jerk reactions.
“He says let’s find a way to achieve the ends to protect Americans from the threat from radical Islamic terrorism, but let’s see if we can do it in a way that is sustainable and makes sense,” the secretary explained.
Pompeo disagreed with a former US diplomat, Brett McGurk, who said recently that “no one’s happier than Russia and Iran when they hear the United States is pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan”.
McGurk — a special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS from October 2015 — December 2018 — resigned last month when Trump announced his plan to pull US troops out of Syria.
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2019