“We will be leaving very strong intelligence, far more than you would normally think,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News on Monday, adding that the problem with pulling the 9,000 US troops from Afghanistan was that the country “just seems to be a lab for terrorists… I call it the Harvard of terrorists.”
“I’ve wanted to pull them out,” he nevertheless claimed, referring to the US troops.
The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, as part of its so-called war on terror. After 18 years, however, terrorist incidents continue to occur across Afghanistan on a near-daily basis.
Washington is now engaged in “peace talks” with the Taliban, the very group that it had sought to root out with the 2001 invasion. Even during the negotiations, the Taliban continue to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the war-ravaged country.
The interview with Trump was broadcast just after the Taliban claimed responsibility for multiple terrorist attacks in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul and other parts of the country and as Washington began a new round of negotiations with the group in the Qatari capital of Doha on Sunday.
Scores injured after powerful blast, clashes rock KabulScores of people have been wounded with fatalities feared after a bomb-laden truck rocked Kabul, followed by gunmen battling special forces in an area housing military and government buildings.
Trump said during his Monday remarks that he hesitated to pull out the US troops from Afghanistan due to advice from his military commanders that it would be preferable to fight the militants there than at home — echoing a claim advanced by former US president George W. Bush, who launched the invasion of Afghanistan.
“‘Sir, I’d rather attack them over there than attack them in our land,’” Trump cited a general as having told him, adding, “It’s something you always have to think about.”
This is while ending America’s wars overseas has been Trump’s promise since his campaigning days.