President Trump's Afghan War Doctrine for winning this protracted 16 year war can be summarized as follows: It is George Bush's "fighting the enemy over there so we don't have to fight them here" minus nation building absent Barack Obama's complete stupidity in announcing timetables for withdrawal, and his insane, lethal, restrictive rules of engagement that depressed morale and got U.S. soldiers killed. Add to this the long overdue pressuring of Pakistan (through economic leverage and stronger defense ties with India) into wiping out its safe zones for terrorists, and that's the Trump Doctrine in a nutshell.
However, in the short run the signs don't look auspicious for the war. Yesterday, coinciding with the President's tough, eloquent, sensible speech, the USS John S. McCain (a destroyer named after the father and grandfather of Afghan War hawk Senator McCain) collided with an oil tanker (see) in the China Sea causing ten sailors to go missing and injuring five - not a good sign. Also ominous was the tanker's destination: South Korea (more trouble from the North?).
President Trump looking straight into the solar eclipse hours before his speech where he fearlessly looked at Afghanistan without illusions.
And later that day a rare total solar eclipse crossed the United States. Indeed, the Moon, symbolic of Islam, blotted out the Sun - another bad sign. But the eclipse being temporary perhaps signified a brief, tragic period of darkness and much loss of life for US forces on the battlefield (the USS McCain incident); or perhaps it's a warning of jihadi terrorist strikes on the homeland (across the country) - as in Barcelona five days ago.
It is interesting to note that the last time a total solar eclipse crossed the US from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast was on June 8, 1918. That was when our nation was in its 14th month fighting the Axis Powers in World War I. Five months later the war would end in victory. Will 2018 see an end to the Afghan War with the Taliban being driven to the bargaining table after a fierce and bloody conflict?
On the bright side Trump is in the 7th month of his presidency (an auspicious number for him, see); and yesterday was his 214th day in office (see); cut 214 in half and we get the number 107 - giving us the month "10" and day "07" in 2001 when President Bush begin the Afghan War (10-07-2001). It also gives us the month and day when Vladimir Putin was born (10-07-1952). The "coincidence" of Putin's 49th birthday with the start of the Afghan War is interesting in that Russia apparently has joined with Iran in trying to undermine our efforts in fighting the Taliban (see). But they will fail. For Trump is bigger and has more audacity than Putin and Khamenei combined.
As you can see the President has his work cut out for him in Afghanistan. But he's equal to it, has no illusions and will prevail; and he'll go down in history as one of the greats. When is the next total solar eclipse to cross our country? April 2024 astronomers say - an election year when Trump will be in the last year of his successful presidency having totally eclipsed and collapsed the effort of his enemies to destroy him.