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Five years ago, before he was a candidate for president, Donald Trump was pretty sure he knew what to do about Afghanistan. It was a losing proposition, "a complete waste" in terms of "blood and treasure."

"Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back?" he asked on Twitter in 2012. "Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!"

More recently, candidate Trump was less certain about exactly when the U.S. should exit the struggle he railed against continuing.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

President Trump's visit to Arizona is already fraught with controversy. The mayor of Phoenix asked the president to hold off staging a campaign rally in his city following the recent violence in Charlottesville, Va. Then, there are the hints Trump has dropped that he might issue a controversial pardon for the former local Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted of criminal contempt of court for disobeying a federal judge.

Before a solar project, Mark Holohan usually gives his customers plenty of time to mull over the cost. But lately, installers are scooping up panels so quickly that Holohan has trouble guaranteeing a price for too long.

"We have a sort of panic buying mode in the marketplace right now. Inventories have fallen. Availability has decreased. Prices have risen," Holohan, the solar division manager at Wilson Electric, said over the clatter of machines and workers in the company's warehouse outside Phoenix, Ariz.

President Trump inherited it with the presidency, and now is putting the albatross that is Afghanistan around his own neck.

On Monday, Trump became the third consecutive commander in chief to authorize a major deployment of American troops. He explained his reasoning following months of deliberation — which followed years of skepticism before he launched his political career.

Eclipses are among the most predictable events on the planet. This one was known about for many decades before it crossed America earlier Monday.

Accordingly, people had been planning eclipse road trips for weeks in advance. They piled into planes and cars and made their way to the 70-mile-wide swath of land where the total eclipse would be visible. They checked online calculators, which told them the time of totality down to the second.

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