5 Things to Know For 8/23: Trump, Afghanistan, More Missiles, Command Change, and More

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So much can change in a day. Anyone who watched the President’s speech on Monday night and then saw the same man address a crowd in Phoenix understands the difference a day makes. But there’s more behind the President’s theatrics, and subtle changes in Afghanistan and Korea are worth studying closely.

The President Speaks…Again

Let’s begin with the circus. President Trump’s campaign style speech in Phoenix was long and energetic and delivered to an adoring base of fans. The President defended his comments on the Charlottesville violence, and went on the attack against Arizona’s senators. He ramped up the rhetoric against Korea, promised victory in Afghanistan, and once again promised that he will build the wall.

In less hyperbolic tones, Trump also promised he would be pardoning Joe Arpaio. While the White House said he wouldn’t make any announcements about the pardon on this trip, Trump implied that Arpaio “would be OK.” The news was well received by the fans in attendance.

Navy shake-up

The U.S. Navy has dismissed the commander of its 7th Fleet.  This move comes after the USS McCain and the USS Fitzgerarld both suffered accidents with fatalities. The Navy, hoping the leadership change may solve its problem, cited a loss of confidence in Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin.

The USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. Ten sailors were reported missing. Officials have now confirmed that Navy divers have found the remains of sailors in a flooded compartment.


Monday night’s scripted speech was more subdued, but still had some moments that were less than specific. Now we have soe new information.  US troops should start arriving in Afghanistan soon, as in the next few “days or weeks,” said Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the top US commander in the Middle East.

Votel notes that they’re needed for the current “fighting season,” a reference to the summer months when Afghanistan heats up and the insurgents come out to fight.


North Korea is still an issue, and there’s a subtle change here that has US officials worried. The state news agency published a photo of Kim Jong-un in front of a diagram that shows what may be the designs of a new missile. Kim Jong Un was visiting a plant that makes solid-fuel engines for the country’s ballistic missile program.