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In a rare presidential address last week at Fort Myer, Virginia, Donald Trump outlined his administration's strategy for the United States' future engagement in Afghanistan.Finally, Trump has invited India to play a larger role in Afghanistan, despite the risks India faces in a country that Pakistan views as a second front in its historic struggle with its southern neighbor. Trump appreciates what India has already done, but is urging it to do even more, using its vast earnings from exports to the U.S. to help rebuild Afghanistan's economy. The implications of Trump's speech extend beyond America's policy in Afghanistan. Trump is not targeting only the Muslim world.If military force has not succeeded in stabilizing Afghanistan in the last 16 years, it is difficult to imagine how Trump thinks it will work now. What is needed is precisely what Trump rejects: a serious and sustained effort to build the Afghan state and economy, in order to give hope to Afghanistan's young population (the median age is only 18.6). If the goal of the Trump doctrine is to create a stable global backdrop against which America can pursue its own interests, it is doomed to fail.
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