President Donald Trump said Monday during a White House meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan that he wants Pakistan’s help to bring an end to the nearly 18-year-old conflict.
“I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump told reporters, alluding to what he said were military plans. “If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth. It would be over in — literally, in 10 days.”
“I don’t want to go that route,” Trump said of his supposed military plan. “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.”
Trump, speaking alongside Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office, said there exists “tremendous potential” between the U.S. and Pakistan.
“If we wanted to, we could win that war. I have a plan that would win that war in a very short period of time, you understand that better than anybody,” Trump added, turning to Khan. But instead of “fighting to win,” U.S. forces in Afghanistan are too focused on “building gas stations” and “rebuilding schools,” Trump alleged.
The Pakistan Prime Minister also reportedly made a diplomatic ask of Trump, requesting that the latter to step in to broker talks between Pakistan and India over the 70-year Kashmir territorial conflict.
“I feel that only the most powerful state, headed by President Trump, can bring the two countries together,” Khan said, adding that the U.S. “can play the most important role in bringing peace in the subcontinent.”
“President, I can tell you that right now, you will have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve the situation,” Khan added.
“If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said in response. “It is impossible to believe that two incredible countries who are very, very smart with very smart leadership can’t solve a problem like that. If you would want me to mediate or arbitrate. I would be willing to do it.”