Tags: Afghanistan | Donald Trump | chris murphy | donald trump | afghanistan | plan secretiveness

Murphy: Trump's Afghanistan Plan Means 'New Secretiveness'

Murphy: Trump's Afghanistan Plan Means 'New Secretiveness'
President Donald Trump (AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2017 02:35 PM

There will be new "secretiveness" to the policy in Afghanistan following President Donald Trump's prime-time announcement on Afghanistan, but other than that, the "news from last night is that there is very little news," Sen. Chris Murphy said Tuesday.

"Well, there wasn't much new at all in that speech to the extent there was any change in policy," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" program. "It was probably simply that future changes in policy won't be announced."

Murphy said there will likely be a "small increase' in the size of troops, but other than that, there will be a continuation of the U.S. policy to try to get Pakistan to be "more of a help rather than hindrance."

Further, he said Trump's strategy would involve a heavy diplomatic commitment to get Pakistan more involved, but the State Department has had "40 percent of their budget" taken away.

Mitchell noted that an ambassador has not been posted yet in India, but there are ambassadors nominated for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"We're short on diplomats," the host said. "They have dissolved the office of the Afghan/Pakistan special envoy."

"They have essentially outsourced the entire problem to the military," Murphy replied. "What we know over the course of the last 15 years in Afghanistan and in Iraq is that the United States military is pretty miserable at solving complicated political problems in the Middle East and around the Middle East."

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan remain political problems, including with the Pakistani coordination with the Taliban, and "there is no one at the highest reaches of government" who has the experience to deal with that, said Murphy.

"You've got a president with no government experience, who hires a secretary of state with no diplomatic experience, who hasn't hired any personnel under him who has worked this particular book of business," Murphy said. "There is really no one in place to actually put into effect the kind of policy he talked about."

Murphy said he also thinks Trump plans let Russia off "scot-free."

"You can't have a coherent Afghanistan strategy without putting the screws to Russia," he said. "So you heard last night the president be very serious about telling the Pakistanis that they have to stop their assistance in direct or indirect to the Taliban. You didn't hear him say that to the Russians."

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There will be new "secretiveness" to the policy in Afghanistan following President Donald Trump's prime-time announcement on Afghanistan, but other than that, the "news from last night is that there is very little news," Sen. Chris Murphy said Tuesday.
chris murphy, donald trump, afghanistan, plan secretiveness
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2017-35-22
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 02:35 PM
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