President Trump again expressed his intention to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, however he is concerned that this country has become the “Harvard of terrorists,” so even if the U.S. leaves, he plans to maintain an intelligence presence to monitor the situation.
The statement was made in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, broadcast Monday night.
Following the death of two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan last week, the interviewer asked the president if he planned to remove all servicemen from the country nearly 20 years after the United States first entered to defeat al-Qaeda.
President Trump—who always considered U.S. intervention abroad unnecessary—responded that he does not believe the United States should be “the world’s police” and that his country has spent too much money building hotels and gas stations in Afghanistan.
However, the terrorism situation in Afghanistan is the reason why the United States would not completely withdraw completely. “I wish we could just get out of there. The problem is that it seems to be a laboratory for terrorists,” the president told Carlson. “I call it the Harvard of terrorists.”
“I would leave very strong intelligence there,” he said.
President Trump did not specify whether “strong intelligence” requires a strengthened CIA presence in Afghanistan or whether he intends to devote more resources to tracking terrorists’ digital communications.
Currently, according to the president, U.S. troops have been reduced to approximately 9,000.
However, the president was clear on one point: terrorist groups are basically the main motive preventing U.S. troops from returning home.