With Afghanistan Address, Trump Pleased Long-Time Rivals And Upset Allies

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump’s commitment to an indefinite war in Afghanistan Monday night received praise from rivals such as Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, but left conservatives like Ann Coulter disappointed.

Trump criticized the Afghanistan war before entering office. However, in his nation-wide address he said he will not give an end date for the conflict and wouldn’t talk about potential troop deployments. There are roughly 8,400 American service members in Afghanistan and it was widely reported Trump will deploy an additional 4,000 troops.

Shortly after the speech, Sen. Graham said on Fox News, “I am very pleased with this plan, and I am very proud of my president.”

Graham and Trump have butted heads for a while on foreign policy. He said in a November interview that “to put ‘Donald Trump’ and ‘foreign policy’ in the same sentence is a stretch. This is not his area. He doesn’t know anything about it.” (RELATED: Trump Announces Plans To Stay In Afghanistan, Shift To ‘Conditions’ Based Withdrawal)

The South Carolina senator also praised Trump during his last aggressive move when he launched airstrikes against Syria in April. Another GOP senator who has had qualms with Trump’s foreign policy is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who tweeted Monday night, “Good [Afghan strategy] & excellent speech by [President Trump] laying it out to the nation.” Trump subsequently retweeted this to his millions of followers.

On the other hand, various conservative writers who have been supportive of Trump’s nationalist agenda were upset by the president’s plan for Afghanistan. Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham tweeted, “Who’s going to pay for it? What is our measure of success? We didn’t win with 100K troops. How will we win with 4,000 more?”

While, Ann Coulter, who wrote “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome,” tweeted, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for. The military-industrial complex wins. Only difference: GOP presidents pronounce ‘Pakistan’ correctly.”

Pat Buchanan, who arguably represented Trump’s agenda decades before the president ran, wrote a column in which he stated: “Trump, however, was elected to end America’s involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars — Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan — he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.”