President Donald Trump flagged “progress” in peace talks with the Taliban on Friday but again warned that he has the ability to wipe out much of Afghanistan within days, killing millions.
“We’ve made a lot of progress. We’re talking,” Trump told reporters at the White House. Trump said that US forces, bogged down for nearly two decades, “could win Afghanistan in two days or three days or four days, but I’m not looking to kill 10 million people.”
He made a similar comment about 10 million casualties in July, but this time specified that this would not involve nuclear weapons. “I’m talking conventional.” Trump was vague, however, in answering a question about a Washington Post report on a deal being brokered in which the United States would cut troop levels in Afghanistan to as low as 8,000 from the current 14,000.
The push to end the conflict has ignited widespread concern among Afghans that in Washington’s rush to exit its longest war, the Taliban will be returned to some semblance of power.
According to a UN report released Tuesday, 1,366 civilians were killed and another 2,446 wounded during the first six months of 2019. The figure does not include at least 34 people who were killed in western Afghanistan when their bus hit a roadside bomb on Wednesday.
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18 September, 2019