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Trump made the right choice on Afghanistan, former Obama aide says

  • Former Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley tells CNBC that Trump came to the right decision on Afghanistan.
  • "The most stunning aspect of the president's speech was the acknowledgment that 16 years into this war ... the prospect of a political negotiation is still a long-term challenge," he says.
  • Retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Mark Kimmitt says Trump's speech put a lot of questions to rest.

President Donald Trump made the right decision by recommitting the U.S. to the Afghanistan war, former Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley told CNBC on Tuesday.

"The most stunning aspect of the president's speech was the acknowledgment that 16 years into this war ... the prospect of a political negotiation is still a long-term challenge," Crowley, who served in the Obama administration, said on "Squawk Box."

Also on "Squawk Box," retired Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Trump's speech made Afghanistan "his war."

"There's been a lot of questions for quite some time, not only among the general public but the troops, about which way we're going in Afghanistan, and I think to a great extent he put that to rest," said Kimmit, who advises U.S. firms in the Middle East.

In a prime-time address to the nation Monday, Trump said he would ramp up engagement in Afghanistan, reversing his past calls to pull American troops out of the country.

The president did not provide details on how many more troops he would dispatch or what he felt it would take to achieve victory.

"America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress," Trump said. "However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check."

James Carafano, vice president of foreign and defense studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told CNBC he would give Trump credit for his message.

"The fundamental principle of his foreign policy is America first. And what that means is I'm going to put interests of the country first," said Carafano, who worked on Trump's transition team.

"And the interests here are really twofold: We don't want Afghanistan to be a source of regional instability. It's bad for us. It's bad for our friends and allies in the region and makes our job harder. And the other is we don't want it to be a platform for transnational terrorism."

Watch: Trump's Afghan plan presents twofold strategy

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