President Donald Trump used 9/11 remembrance commemorations yesterday to announce an unprecedented escalation of the US military assault on Afghanistan’s Taliban -- just days after he wanted to hold peace talks with the insurgents.
Speaking at a Pentagon ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, Trump said that over “the last four days” US forces have “hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue.”
Trump said the assault was ordered after he canceled peace talks with the Taliban over the weekend in retaliation for a bomb attack that killed one US soldier last week.
In his Pentagon speech, Trump also issued a threat against militants ever attacking on US soil again, saying the response would be unlike any ever seen before.
The warlike comments were all the more startling because it was only on Saturday that the president announced on Twitter that he’d been about to meet with Taliban leaders on Sunday at his Camp David presidential retreat.
Trump’s abrupt reversal of that plan and decision to punish the Taliban for last week’s bomb attack was followed by the sacking of his controversial national security advisor John Bolton on Tuesday.