Trump emphasized he could hold back future military and economic aid unless the Afghan government combats problems including rampant corruption. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)
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Trump's advisers say his Afghan strategy reflects a consistent worldview, both in terms of America's overseas objectives and the tactics to achieve them.As a candidate and then as president, Trump has eluded those who have tried to identify core beliefs that can reliably predict how he'll approach any given issue.Trump ran on a nationalist pledge to put "America First".While Trump has cast his approach as a fundamental shift from other presidents, he's borrowed more from them than he's inclined to admit. And Trump's limited approach owes something to Barack Obama, who in his second term scaled back U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and settled on a counterterror-focused mission not dissimilar from the new American strategy.Trump's approach in Syria is similar.KEEP YOUR PLANS QUIETOf all the critiques of Trump's plan, the loudest is that he declined to tell Americans how many more U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan after 16 years of fighting.Being unpredictable to U.S. adversaries has been a consistent Trump focus.
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