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Afghanistan Wants Clarification About Trump's Comments

US president said he could wipe Afghanistan off the Earth if it came to that
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2019 1:23 PM CDT
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, center, inspects an honor guard in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 29, 2019.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, Pool)

(Newser) – President Trump's matter-of-fact statement about destroying Afghanistan isn't sitting well in that country. "I could win that war in a week, I just don't want to kill 10 million people," Trump said Monday as he met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office. "Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth." On Tuesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani asked for clarification in "a sharply worded statement," reports the New York Times. "Foreign heads of state cannot determine Afghanistan's fate in absence of the Afghan leadership," said a statement from the presidential palace, per Reuters. Ghani wasn't the only one to speak out. Former president Hamid Karzai called Trump's comment an insult to all Afghans.

His national security adviser went a step further. This is a "terrible, racist political message," Rangin Dadfar Spanta said. "There is no need to brag that you can kill 10 million Afghans." Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini also responded, calling Trump's comment "reckless" and "appalling." Arriving in Kabul Tuesday in the hope of negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban, however, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad offered a different interpretation. Trump "reiterated to the world that there is no reasonable military solution to the war in Afghanistan, and that peace must be achieved through a political settlement," he said in a tweet, per Reuters. For the record, Afghanistan has 35 million people, notes CBS News. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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