President Trump unveils Afghanistan strategy

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WOODBURY -

President Donald Trump told Americans "We are not nation building again - we are killing terrorists," as he addressed the country Monday night on his plans for the war in Afghanistan.

In a tweet Saturday, the president announced he had reached a decision on the way forward in Afghanistan, a day after he reviewed war options with his national security team at Camp David in Maryland.

During his address Monday, he said the element of surprise is vital to victory in America's longest war.

The president refused to offer specific numbers of troops or a timetable for his plan, leaving many speculate that the plan could add as many as 4,000 troops who will advise and assist Afghan forces.

Michael Colontonio spent nearly four years in the Army, including one year in Afghanistan. He now has PSTD, and he says he's worried President Trump will send more troops into the war-torn nation.

"I don't know what victory looks like, because I don't know what we're fighting for," Colontonio says.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), a Trump supporter, says he agrees with the president. He says an immediate withdrawal would leave the Afghan government unprepared to drive out terror groups.

"It's just a hasty pull-out that doesn't set the right conditions. We can end up in a more dangerous position than what we find ourselves in today," he says. 

Long Islanders who spoke with News 12 had mixed opinions on the issue, with some expressing concern about what will happen to Afghanistan if the U.S. pulls out, while others saying that American troops have been there for too long already.

As early as 2011, President Trump publicly opposed conflict and Afghanistan. In his speech Monday, Trump credited advisors for the change in his opinion.

Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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