Afghanistan's President Asks for 'Clarification' After Trump Says He Could End War In a Week By Killing 10 Million People

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has officially asked for "clarification" from the United States government after President Donald Trump said on Monday that he could end the conflict in the country in a week or 10 days by killing 10 million people and wiping the country "off the face of the earth."

"The Afghan nation has not and will never allow any foreign power to determine its fate," Ghani's office said in an official statement released on Tuesday. "Our cooperation and partnership with the world countries, particularly with the United States, is grounded on common interests and mutual respect. While the Afghan government supports the US efforts for ensuring peace in Afghanistan, the government underscores that foreign heads of state cannot determine Afghanistan's fate in absence of the Afghan leadership."

The statement went on to call for "clarification" of Trump's remarks, which were made following a meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Imran Khan and Donald Trump
President Donald Trump and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speak to the media in the Oval Office at the White House on July 22 in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty

After the Monday talks, Trump took questions from reporters at the White House. Responding to one journalist, the president insisted that he had plans that could end the Afghanistan War, which the U.S. started in 2001, within a week or 10 days.

"I could win that war in a week. I just don't want to kill 10 million people," Trump said. "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 go that route."

The president's broader point, which he expounded on, was that he wants to "extricate" or withdraw the U.S. from the conflict. He said he was talking with Pakistan to assist in ensuring peace within the country, as part of a plan that would make it easier for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan.

"Basically we're policemen right now," Trump said. "And we're not supposed to be policemen. We've been there for 19 years, in Afghanistan. It's ridiculous."

Khan told reporters that his negotiators were close to completing a peace agreement with the Taliban, which the U.S. and the Afghan government have been fighting in the conflict.

"We hope that in the coming days we will be able to urge the Taliban to speak to the Afghan government and come to a settlement, a political solution," the Pakistani prime minister said.

Trump last year cut hundreds of millions in military aid to Pakistan, saying the country offered "nothing but lies & deceit" in return for the assistance. But on Monday, the president said that decision could be reversed depending on how negotiations move forward.