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"Winning in Afghanistan is really aimed at allowing Afghanistan to be Afghanistan. Not to create a state in the United States’ image," McMaster said today.
"Winning in Afghanistan means that there are not terrorist groups who are able to control key parts of the territory and population centers there, that could be used to mobilize resources, raise funds, use those funds to then organize, plan and conduct attacks against us and our allies and partners," he said.
McMaster said that he wants "a sustainable outcome” in the South Asian country.
"The outcome is to ensure that a threat from that region doesn't threaten the safety and security of the American people," McMaster said.
The question about his definition of success in Afghanistan came during a Friday press briefing at the White House, four days after Trump laid out his administration's plan for the country, where the U.S. has been at war since 2001.
McMaster's comments echoed portions of Trump's speech, as both stressed that it will be up to residents of Afghanistan to determine their country's fate.
"Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live, or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists," Trump said during Monday's address.
"The stronger the Afghan security forces become, the less we will have to do. Afghans will secure and build their own nation and define their own future. We want them to succeed," Trump said Monday.