So much for “America First.”
President Donald Trump, who has long called the wars in the Middle East a waste of money that could have been better spent on infrastructure projects at home, is expected to announce an increase in troop levels in Afghanistan during a prime-time address Monday night.
It’s unclear how many more troops Trump plans to add to the war that’s dragged on more than a decade and a half. However, any increase in troop levels in that conflict is an about face from what Trump has advocated for years.
“America has spent approximately $6 trillion in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this $6 trillion we could have rebuilt our country — twice,” Trump said during his first joint address to Congress back in February, in which he advocated a populist strategy of rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.
Trump has also posted numerous tweets since 2011, advocating a pull-out from Afghanistan and a reallocation of the money toward U.S infrastructure.
“It is time to get out of Afghanistan. We are building roads and schools for people that hate us. It is not in our national interests,” Trump tweeted in February 2012.
“Can you believe that the Afghan war is our ‘longest war’ ever — bring our troops home, rebuild the U.S., make America great again,” Trump tweeted in January 2013.
“Do not allow our very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in Afghanistan through 202 — with all costs by USA,” Trump tweeted in in November 2013. “MAKE AMERICA GREAT!”
“Now Obama is keeping our soldiers in Afghanistan for at least another year,” Trump tweeted in December 2014. “He is losing two wars simultaneously.”
Trump is slated to announce his decision on troop levels at 9 p.m. Eastern.