Trump surprises U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving

Trump surprises U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving

Trump surprises U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving

The unannounced Thanksgiving visit was the president's first to that nation, according to The New York Times.

President Trump's assistant and White House director of social media, Dan Scavino, also posted several clips of the president's trip to Bagram Airfield on Twitter.

There are about 12,000 USA troops now serving in Afghanistan in a conflict triggered by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that has claimed more than 2,300 American lives and cost billions in taxpayer dollars.

President Trump addresses US troops Thursday during a surprise visit to Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

Grisham told reporters that the trip had been weeks in the making. About 12,000 US forces remain in Afghanistan.

"Our message to the bloodthirsty terrorists is clear, you will not escape your wretched fate because the long reach of the really awesome power of the United States military is unstoppable", Mr. Trump said.

"What a great job you do".

The United States and the Taliban had been talking in a bid to put an end to the 18-year Afghan conflict for nearly a year before Trump called off the talks in September. US and global forces have been on the ground ever since.

"Afghan security forces are taking the lead now", Ghani said.

On November 15, Trump - the commander-in-chief of the USA military - reversed the demotion handed down to Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher who was accused of war crimes, but was found guilty of a lesser offense.

Trump said he was proceeding with a plan to reduce USA troop levels to about 8,600, telling reporters we're "bringing down the number of troops substantially".

The concern about Afghanistan's future is compounded by prolonged uncertainty surrounding the results of presidential elections in September.

Military commanders point to some important improvements in Afghanistan's fighting ability, in its air forces and ability to mount independent offensives, but anticipate the Kabul government would face an existential threat if foreign troops were to withdraw.

Rucker reported from West Palm Beach, Fla.

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