Donald Trump vows to 'hit Taliban harder than ever' on 9/11 anniversary

Donald Trump vows to 'hit Taliban harder than ever' on 9/11 anniversary

The nature of the offensive was not immediately clear but Trump said it was ordered after he canceled peace talks with the Taliban over the weekend in retaliation for a bomb attack that killed one U.S. soldier last week. "But, that was my decision and what we're doing now is my decision", he said when asked about his decision to invite the Taliban to Camp David for talks and then cancelling it abruptly.

But throughout the negotiations, the US -led coalition and their Afghan partners have sought to use battlefield pressure to push the Taliban into a settlement to end America's almost 18-year war.

"In times of distress the heart of the American patriot only grows stronger and more determined; even in the midst of the attack the world witnessed the awesome power of American defiance", he said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reiterated, however, his commitment to the people-owned peace process amid the breakup of the US-Taliban peace talks.

Mr Trump has said he wants to withdraw around 5,000 of the 14,000 United States military personnel still in the country. A Pentagon report to Congress in July touted efforts to synchronize and increase USA and Afghan operations to "put heavy pressure on the Taliban" and "provide strong incentives for them to engage in meaningful negotiations".

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"They will never have seen anything like what will happen to them", he said. In his address at the Pentagon memorial, Trump said, "18 years ago, the terrorists struck this citadel of power and American strength, but the enemies soon learned that they could not weaken the spirit of our people".

Addressing the families of the 184 killed when a hijacked plane crashed into the building at 9:37 a.m., Trump said he and his wife "are united with you in grief".

In what has become an annual tradition, relatives began reading out the long list of those who were killed, saying a few words about each victim, in a ceremony that took nearly four hours.

More have died since from illnesses related to the destruction. The US now has about 14,000 troops in the country.

The president campaigned on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan, but has pronounced the peace talks with the Taliban as now "dead".

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