Alwaght- US President Donald Trump has once again repeated the claim that he could win the Afghanistan war "in a week" without using nuclear weapons, further insisting that the effort “would have to” involve killing 10 million Afghans.
“As I’ve said, and I’ll say it any number of times – and this is not using nuclear – we could win that war in a week if we wanted to fight it, but I’m not looking to kill 10 million people,” Trump reiterated on Tuesday while speaking to reporters in the White House during a meeting with his Romanian counterpart.
“I’m not looking to kill 10 million Afghans, because that’s what would have to happen, and I’m not looking to do that,” added the hawkish American president, without elaborating on how he would accomplish the swift conclusion of the US military’s 18-year war on Afghanistan.
US-led forces invaded war-ravaged Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called ‘war on terror’ campaign to purportedly rid the country from terrorism – then led by Saudi-linked al-Qaeda terror group and the rule of allied Taliban militants.
However, since the massive US-led occupation of the country, Taliban-led terrorism and narcotics trade has drastically expanded across Afghanistan with American military commanders there admitting that the Taliban insurgents remain in control of most of the country, leading Washington to initiate “peace” negotiations with the notorious militant group years ago – which remains ongoing amid US claims that Taliban has pledged to rid Afghanistan from terrorism, prevent other terror groups from using the nation as a base to attack US interests, and even commit to women rights, despite its track record of brutal treatment of the country’s female population and fiercely opposing their pursuit of education.
Trump’s latest remarks followed similar unprecedented claims he made last month when he also insisted that he could end the Afghan war "in a week," drawing speculation on how he would go about such a plan.
“I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump emphasized while hosting Pakistani President Imran Khan in Washington during a meeting with Pakistan’s prime minister on July 22, adding: “If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth. ... It would be over in — literally, in 10 days.”
The appalling remarks left many wondering whether the American president was contemplating the use of nuclear weapons against Afghanistan, as Afghans expressed alarm and fury over the assertions with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani seeking “clarification” on Trump’s comments through diplomatic channels.
This is while Trump also underlined during his Tuesday remarks that it’s “ridiculous” that the US has remained in Afghanistan for 18 years, repeating his belief that American troops are acting as a “police force” there.
Calling Afghanistan 'Harvard University of terrorism'
He further added that Afghanistan is a “dangerous place” and indicated he is open to maintaining a residual force there, noting that the country “does seem to be the Harvard University of terrorism.”
“It’s a dangerous place and we have to always keep an eye on it,” Trump also asserted. “We are bringing some of our troops back, but we have to have a presence.”
“We’ll always have intelligence, and we’ll always have somebody there,” he then vowed.
The development came after Trump was briefed on Friday by his national security team on efforts to negotiate an end to Washington’s Afghan war.
US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has been negotiating with Taliban insurgents for months on a deal that Washington says would lead to withdrawal of US troops from the country in exchange for assurances from the terror group that they would not allow terrorists to launch attacks against the United States from Afghanistan.
Moreover, the State Department announced on Tuesday that Khalilzad is traveling to Qatar for another round of talks with the Taliban, before paying a visit to Afghanistan for talks with government officials that Taliban regards as illegitimate.
Questioning validity of US-Taliban 'peace' talks
However, Trump on Tuesday also undermined expectations for reaching a peace deal with Taliban in the ongoing talks, saying: “I don’t know whether or not that plan’s going to be acceptable to me.”
“Maybe it’s not going to be acceptable to them, but we are talking, we have good talks going, and we’ll see what happens,” the US president then added, further asserting that the Taliban “would like to stop fighting us.”
The US military still maintains nearly 14,000 troops in Afghanistan while claiming to engage on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their battle against the mostly Taliban-led terror attacks, and conducting counter-terrorism operations against other terror groups in the country such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.