President Donald Trump boasted on Monday that he could end the war in Afghanistan “in a week” but warned that it would come with a hefty death toll.
Rather than implement this secret plan, the President said he would rather work hand-in-hand with partners in the region to close out the conflict in the region.
“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,” said Trump, according to Politico.
“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.”
The president called the conflict “ridiculous” and said it helped turn America into the world’s “policemen.”
Trump, made the comments during a White House meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office on Monday. The two leaders spoke about a “tremendous potential” between the U.S. and Pakistan.
Afghanistan was a major talking point between the leaders with Trump suggesting that Pakistan could help with keeping peace in the region if the U.S. pulled out. The president also suggested that he could restore money toward military aid to Pakistan.
The U.S. and Pakistan have had a rocky relationship, but now President Trump is leaning on Prime Minister Imran Khan to help facilitate peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan https://t.co/3tOVuZWTL7 pic.twitter.com/Ujw0t2FDs2— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 22, 2019
The president’s comments come at a time when the top position in the Pentagon is in flux after the departure of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in January.
Mattis left his post in protest of Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, according to Politico.
One of Trump’s biggest promises during his campaign was to end the U.S.’s involvement in wars around the world, according to Newsweek. But military officials have warned that pulling out too quickly could lead to destabilization in those regions.
The war in Afghanistan was one of the top agenda items during Trump’s meeting with Khan. The administration has been engaged in peace talks with the Taliban aimed at ending the war, which was launched after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Trump said that Pakistan could help play a role in stabilizing Afghanistan after a possible U.S. pullout and suggested he could restore hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan “depending on what we work out.”
“I think Pakistan is going to help us out,” said Trump.
Pres. Trump claims he could win Afghan war "in a week. I just don't want to kill 10 million people."— ABC News (@ABC) July 22, 2019
"I have plans on Afghanistan, that, if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth...I don't want to go that route." https://t.co/NkJuIoh4fP pic.twitter.com/B31vwnZiuo