Tags: Afghanistan | Donald Trump | michael hayden | donald trump | arizona | speech | thank god

Hayden: Afghanistan Speech Had Two 'Thank God' Moments

Hayden: Afghanistan Speech Had Two 'Thank God' Moments
President Donald Trump (AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2017 01:09 PM

For retired Gen. Michael Hayden, President Donald Trump's speech Monday night had two "Thank God" moments, the former CIA chief told The Cipher Brief.

In a Q&A with TCB, Hayden said two parts of Trump's vision for Afghanistan were welcome departures from the administration of former President Barack Obama:

  • Getting rid of artificial timelines.
  • Relaxing the rules of engagement and putting tactical decisions into the hands of his commanders on the ground.

"That entire piece where our strategy and our decisions will be conditions-based rather than time-lined based, anybody that does this for a living would say, 'Oh, thank God,'" Hayden told TCB. "Because the time-lined based stuff in the past was very disturbing for anyone actually responsible for outcomes."

Perhaps more important, Trump made a clear break from Obama by "pushing tactical decisions down to the tactical level," Hayden said, something he complained to Newsmax TV about for more than two years.

"Again, anybody who does this for a living says, 'Thank God,'" Hayden told TCB.

"The president was quite clear. We're going to treat all of the terrorists and all of the criminals the same. That simplifies the battlefield. That simplifies decision-making. Again, people responsible for outcomes are very relieved by that," Hayden said.

Hayden told TCB that overall, the president's speech "was by and large good news," and that he's pleased Trump had a change of heart when it comes to dealing with the war-torn nation.

"You know all those guys like me last summer who signed those letters saying this guy might be dangerous as president of the United States? I think most of the people who signed those letters would pretty much agree with the strategy the president outlined here," Hayden told TCB.

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For retired Gen. Michael Hayden, President Donald Trump's speech Monday night had two "Thank God" moments, the former CIA chief told The Cipher Brief.
michael hayden, donald trump, arizona, speech, thank god, afghanistan
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2017-09-22
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 01:09 PM
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