ABC's George Stephanopoulos pressured U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to define what 'winning" means in Afghanistan-- and her answer was as un-serious as it was lazy. To "defeat terrorism."
You mean like we did in Iraq? Seriously, Nikki. No one is buying what you're selling.
President Trump did not answer any basic questions on what his Afghanistan strategy is, including "winning," and why we are staying there, so ABC's George Stephanopoulos pressured Nikki Haley to fill in some of the blanks. because that is the job of all Trump hires: fill in the blanks between your boss's ears so we can imagine we have a functioning White House.
And like every other Trump hire, Nikki came armed with nothing but platitudes. If she gave any actual details, she might get in trouble with Trump, right?
Stephanopoulos asked, "The president said we will win in Afghanistan. but he didn't define victory, so can you define victory specifically for the American people?"
Haley replied, "Well, I think what we're trying to do is defeat terrorism of all kinds and I think in Afghanistan what it's become is a safe haven..."
Terrorism is an idea, a process of how to terrorize your enemies, it's not a strategy.
She continued, "but it's not just about Afghanistan, it's also about the region and so I think what you're seeing the president and the generals do is basically say, look, let's stay focused. Let's look at the terrorist attacks that we've -- that could happen on American soil but let's go after terrorism..."
You mean for sixteen years the same military never looked at the region surrounding Afghanistan?
Haley thought Trump was strong and solid, but most think he was vague and secretive with more of the same strategy we've had.
The GMA host pushed forward, "But ambassador Haley, as you know, we've been there for almost 16 years going after the terrorists so I repeat my question, what is victory?"
Haley stumbled trying to come up with an answer.
She said, "Well I think victory is obviously that we want to see that we're defeating terrorism. We're defeating Taliban. We're defeating Al Qaeda. We're defeating ISIS and I think what you're going to see is with this plan, it's not going to be like the past sixteen years."
And how is it different?
Haley bragged that Trump is hiding what the plan is to the American people so the enemy won't know. Since the tax payers are paying for it, we should know what the heck the military is doing.
Then she made a claim that Trump has refuted for years and years.
She said, And more importantly, it’s not going to be based on time; it’s going to be based on results."
Which means as Spencer Ackerman suggests, "Fight Forever and Call It ‘Victory’
Trump is defining victory in terms of things the military must keep doing—attacking, obliterating, crushing, preventing, stopping. That gives the lie to Trump’s hand-wave that “our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check.” The only way for the Trumpist conception of victory to mean anything is for American troops to patrol Afghanistan indefinitely, until the ever elusive and indefinable point when their Afghan protégés can outlast the Taliban.