The president has authorized our armed forces to directly target the terrorists and militant networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan, who put our soldiers at risk and destabilize the region. He has lifted the restrictions that prevented our commanders in the field from fully using their judgment and expertise to carry out their critical missions. Bureaucrats don’t win battles; our brave men and women in uniform do, and they deserve the flexibility they need to fight and win every time.
At the same time, our strategy will integrate all instruments of American power — diplomatic and economic as well as military — to move toward a political settlement in Afghanistan that protects our interests. Achieving this goal requires that both the Afghan authorities and the Taliban demonstrate political will to participate in a meaningful dialogue. This means we must defeat the Taliban in the field and support the Afghan government. As President Trump has said, the United States of America seeks “a future (in our hemisphere) where the people of each country can live out their dreams” — a future of freedom, security, and prosperity for us all.