President Donald Trump’s strategy in South Asia and Afghanistan, as anticipated, offered the opportunity to end the Afghanistan conflict in a way that advances the core US national interests: defeating terrorism and demonstrating that a moderate Islamic country, aligned with the international community, can succeed. The new strategy focused on bringing the Afghan conflict to an end on terms acceptable to the Afghan government and their regional and global partners. The Trump’s strategy has perceived Afghanistan in a regional context, with a renewed focus on Pakistan and it provided Pentagon flexibility in shaping the deployment and use of US forces in support of Afghanistan and the counterterrorism mission. This strategy intended to enable Afghanistan to become a more stable state – one capable of protecting its people with limited outside support – as well as to lay the foundation for bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. The United States intended to advance the strategy through increasing military pressure on the Taliban, and through the concerted use of international efforts to shape the diplomatic environment, to affect the behavior and calculations of the Taliban and other actors. The Trump strategy corrects the most counterproductive efforts of the Barack Obama administration – the accelerated withdrawal of US forces based on an unrealistic timeline rather than according to conditions on the ground. But in spite of all plans, the security situation in Afghanistan in 2017–2018 became more dangerous, which manifests itself in the rise of violence and the diminishing government control in rural areas. Doubts remain as to the feasibility and ultimate success of the strategy.
D. Trump; strategy in Afghanistan; conflict; terrorism; «Taliban»; Pakistan; Russia.