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Trump says he could win the war in Afghanistan quickly, but he doesn't want to kill millions of people
In a not-so-veiled threat to the Taliban, President Donald Trump argued on Monday the United States has the capacity to bring a swift end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, but he is seeking a different solution to avoid killing "10 million people."
"I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth," Trump said on Monday at the White House. "It would be gone. It would be over in – literally in 10 days. And I don't want to do that. I don't want to go that route."
Trump spoke to reporters about Afghanistan while meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday. The two leaders are expected to discuss ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban led by Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.
The president has repeatedly said he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and Reuters has reported that a political settlement with the Taliban could involve all foreign troops departing Afghanistan within 18 months of the agreement being signed.
Trump hinted that he will have "some very good answers on Afghanistan very quickly."
"I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves," he said. "We've been there for 19 years in Afghanistan. It's ridiculous. And I think Pakistan helps us with that because we don't want to stay as policemen. But if we wanted to, we could win that war. I have a plan that could win that war in a very short period of time."
See President Donald Trump's comments about Afghanistan below:
"I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves – we're like policemen. We're not fighting a war. If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it – I could win that war in a week. I just don't want to kill 10 million people. Does that make sense to you?
"I don't want to kill 10 million people. I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth. It would be gone. It would be over in – literally in 10 days. And I don't want to do that. I don't want to go that route.
"So we're working with Pakistan and others to extricate ourselves – nor do we want to be policemen, because basically we're policemen right now. And we're not supposed to be policemen.
"We've been there for 19 years in Afghanistan. It's ridiculous. And I think Pakistan helps us with that because we don't want to stay as policemen. But if we wanted to, we could win that war. I have a plan that could win that war in a very short period of time.
(Turning to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan) "You understand that better than anybody. We've been in there – not fighting to win – just fighting to – They're building gas stations. They're rebuilding schools – the United States. We shouldn't be doing that. That's for them to do.
"But what we did and what our leadership got us into is ridiculous. But I think we will have some very good answers on Afghanistan very quickly."
WATCH NEXT: The Taliban Drove His Family Out Of Afghanistan When He Was A Child. Now He Wants To Go Back As A Marine
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.