President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that the U.S. will increase its military intervention in Afghanistan was perceived by many as a success, but he still has more work to do to sell the public on his plan.
Trump gave his first primetime speech last Monday. He proposed, rather than evacuate our troops from Afghanistan as he has previously recommended, we increase our military presence in the war-torn country.
Trump’s speech comes at a time when terrorist attacks are becoming increasingly common.
This speech worked on multiple levels.
For one, Trump displayed leadership qualities by listening to the advice of his generals and making more calculated decisions. He spoke in a cool, crisp manner unlike his usual boisterous, unruly fervor. In that moment, I didn’t see Trump the business mogul and TV star – I saw the President of the United States.
On another note, Trump reinvigorated a feeling I think has been lacking: pride for our country. The perception of how great the U.S. is or ever was has deteriorated, and patriotism as a general feeling gets eroded even when you focus on the positive aspects. I think Trump’s speech invites us back to feeling glorious about the U.S. by crafting a plan to win – and finally put an end to – this 16-year war.
Despite the positives, I’m still concerned.
Perhaps I’m being impatient, but I’d like more information than what Trump gave. In addition to changing the strategy for engagement, Trump wants military information to be secretive. In theory this could be ideal. Most civilians don’t understand the workings of the military and classified information should be withheld from our enemies, but secrecy inevitably begets backlash from critics and accusations of corruption.
In addition, there’s always the question of whether this new methodology will be effective. Some say that by invading we’re at risk of creating more terrorists. Others say that if done correctly, similar results to The Surge during the Iraq war could occur. In the end only time will tell the efficacy of this plan.
Trump’s bluntness and confidence are controversial to say the least, but perhaps our country stands to gain from them. The political correctness of our age has become akin to a new form of totalitarianism – the regime of niceties.
Trump’s delivery ignores this monster and instead harkens back to a pragmatic ideology. For better or for worse, I suppose this is a new U.S. politic we must accustom ourselves to.
Eric Kopelovich is a senior majoring in political science and accounting.