From Obama’s maiden voyage abroad, what some tritely coined an “American Apology Tour,” the president accepted and advocated a diminished American presence on the international stage. His administration dealt with a light, often inconsequential, hand in diplomatic relationships, preferring, in their own words, a “lead from behind” approach. …
The current Afghan Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Hamdullah Mohib:
I’ve personally met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago and the president has had two phone conversations with President Ghani [The president of Afghanistan]. …
Before the calls, we were advised to keep conversations short because, we were told, Trump will not be interested in the details of the call and does not have a long attention span, so it would be pointless to have a long call.
However, we were pleasantly surprised at how much time President Trump spent asking very informed questions. The first time the presidents spoke, the questions Trump asked impressed us. “How can you win in this fight [against terrorism]?” he asked. “What do you need to become financially independent?” and “How can American business invest in Afghanistan? How can we develop businesses and mining in your country?”
Trump would listen intently after each question, often asking follow-ups. Trump’s second call with our president was even longer than the first.
Asking these types of questions for our country is something the Obama administration never did. The Obama administration was the most academic administration we have ever had to deal with but the Trump administration has been the most thoughtful and intelligent.
Trump continually asked “How can you win? What does Afghanistan need to win?” in reference to our fight with terrorism. Trump wants to win. Sincerely. All the Obama administration wanted to do was not lose.