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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."
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