Army Sergeant: I Wanted an End Date for Afghanistan

Posted: Aug 22, 2017 10:05 AM

President Trump told Americans Monday night that he has authorized an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan to help stabilize the embattled region. Top lawmakers approved of Trump's decision, which came after several meetings with his cabinet and generals.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) applauded the president for making a decision after thoroughly considering ground operations. Vice President Mike Pence shared his appreciation for Trump's decision in an op-ed. The president's action, he wrote, will "undo past failures."

Speaker Ryan also praised Trump's "pitch perfect" speech during a town hall in Racine, Wisconsin, which aired on CNN. He found some constituents, however, who were not thrilled with the surge. Army Staff Sgt. Blake Buchanan lives in Ryan's district and served in Afghanistan. He told the speaker he was "hoping for an end date."

Ryan thanked Buchanan for his service, then defended Trump's remarks. Trump was right to make the omission, Ryan said, because it leaves the enemy in the dark. If the terrorists “believe we have some end date, some timetable, then they will wait us out," he said.

That was one of Obama’s major faults as commander in chief, the speaker argued.

"We shouldn’t telegraph our timetable so we can make a conditioned space" for terrorists and allow them to have a safe haven to plan another 9/11.

Ryan wasn't on Trump's side all night, however. When it came to questions about the president's Charlottesville response, the speaker twice said that the president "messed up" in his Tuesday presser when he said there were "very fine people" at the white nationalist rally.