Trump says he 'could win' Afghanistan war 'in a week'
Quick end would wipe Afghanistan 'off the face of the Earth' and kill 10 million people, US president says
The 18-year war in Afghanistan could be ended within a matter of days, but doing so would result in the country being "wiped off the face of the Earth," President Donald Trump said Monday.
"I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people," Trump said in the Oval Office while hosting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. "It would be over in, literally, 10 days. I don’t’ want to go that route, so we are working with Pakistan and others to extricate ourselves. Nor do we want to be policemen, because basically we are policemen right now."
Trump has repeatedly criticized the U.S.'s lengthy campaign in Afghanistan, which he repeated Monday calling operations that have lasted for nearly two decades "ridiculous."
The U.S. has roughly 14,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan amid Trump's push to wind down their presence in tandem with ongoing peace talks with the Taliban.
Khan said the current moment is "the closest we have been to a peace deal" in the war-torn country, but stressed there is not a military solution to the conflict.
"We hope that in the coming days we will be able to urge the Taliban to speak to the Afghan government and come to a political solution," he said.
Amid the fast-tracked peace process, there has been a surge in civilian casualties across Afghanistan as the warring sides push for the upper hand in proposed negotiations.
Figures compiled by Anadolu Agency suggest the devastating surge in violence claimed at least 100 civilian lives in the first 10 days of July alone.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.