President Donald Trump says that he wants to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan but will leave a strong intelligence presence, branding the country the “Harvard of terrorists” in an interview broadcast on Monday (July 1).
“We will be leaving very strong intelligence, far more than you would normally think. It just seems to be a lab for terrorists… I call it the Harvard of terrorists,” Trump said. “I’ve wanted to pull them out,” he said of the US troops who have been fighting in the country since 2001.
But he said that he hesitates due what he described as advice from the military that it is preferable to fight militants there than at home – echoing an argument advanced by George W Bush’s administration.
Trump’s comments come with rival Afghans set to start meeting in Qatar on Sunday (July 7) in a fresh attempt to make political headway as the United States seeks a peace deal with the Taliban within three months.