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Trump's Afghanistan strategy to put new pressure on Pakistan

Trump's Afghanistan strategy
Trump expected to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan 02:50

In a nationally televised primetime address Monday, President Trump will unveil a "path forward" for the U.S. in Afghanistan.

The president returned to the White House Sunday night after a weekend spent in New Jersey with the first family. There, Mr. Trump met with members of his National Security Council and came to a decision on a new strategy in the nearly 16-year long war in Afghanistan to raise troop levels and take a broader approach in the region.

Trump to deliver plan for "America's longest war" 02:04

Mr. Trump's decision has been delayed for months by concerns that the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan military are not winning the fight against the Taliban, al Qaeda and ISIS. In his address Monday night, Mr. Trump will give his path forward from the longest war in American history, reports CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan.

The president is expected to green light the deployment of around 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan and put new pressure on nearby Pakistan to stop giving safe haven to terrorists.

"The strategic process was sufficiently rigorous and did not go in with a preset condition in terms of what questions could be asked or what decisions would be made," Defense Secretary James Mattis said Sunday.

The president is considering several possibilities to pressure Pakistan into stepping up the fight against terrorism, including reducing aid, taking away its status as a non-NATO ally, and threatening to name Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Mattis said U.S. troop numbers may fluctuate, adding to the already more than 8,000 forces in country.

Mr. Trump has questioned whether to pull out of Afghanistan, which the Obama administration had once advocated.

"I want to find out why we've been there for 17 years," Mr. Trump said in July.

"The real question is what is our strategy? And then when you lay out the strategy, then the troop strength question can kind of answer itself," Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said Sunday on "Face the Nation." 

Blackwater founder says contractors in Afghanistan wouldn't be mercenaries 07:41

In search of a new approach, now former chief strategist Steve Bannon had urged Mr. Trump to send paid mercenaries instead of troops – an idea that appeared to die with Bannon's Friday ouster.

Sources tell CBS News the president was frustrated by descriptions of Bannon as his political mastermind. A self-described nationalist, Bannon saw himself as part of a new political order. Within hours of his firing, Bannon rejoined Breitbart news and declared war on the opposition. Bannon told the Weekly Standard, "The Trump presidency that we fought for and won is over." 

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