President Donald Trump warned the Taliban during a memorial at the Pentagon on September 11 – saying that the US hit the enemy & # 39; harder than ever & # 39; hit since the failure of planned peace talks at Camp David.
The president also threatened a devastating future response to a proposed US attack and even referred to US nuclear energy – just days after he pulled the plug to host the Taliban during the presidential retreat for a meeting that took place just before September . 11th birthday.
Trump announced the cancellation of the meeting at the weekend and then dismissed his ragged national security adviser John Bolton on Monday. At the time, he was referring to a terror attack in Kabul a week ago that resulted in the deaths of Afghans and an American employee.
President Donald Trump issued canceled talks with the Taliban while speaking at the Pentagon Wednesday
"We had planned peace talks a few days ago. I called them off when I heard that they had killed a large American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people, & said Trump on Wednesday, referring to a terrorist attack in Afghanistan.
"They thought they would use this attack to show strength, but they actually showed persistent weakness. Over the past four days, we have hit our enemy harder than ever before, and that will continue, & Trump promised.
Then he issued his warning: "And if they return to our country for any reason, we will go where they are and use power, as the United States has never used before."
"And I'm not even talking about nuclear energy," Trump added. "They've never seen anything like what will happen to them. No enemy on earth can match the overwhelming power and power of the American forces. & # 39;
A handout photo made available by the US Army shows soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team firing an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, June 10, 2019
Investigate foreign forces with NATO-led Resolute Support Mission at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 5, 2019
US Marines board a US Army helicopter in Camp Bost, Helmand Province, on October 29, 2017. Trump said coalition forces hit enemies like never before
US forces patrol an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in Logar Province, Afghanistan on August 7, 2018
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in a moment of silence during a ceremony at the Pentagon during the 18th anniversary memorial ceremony of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Arlington, Virginia, US, Sept. 11, 2019
Trump has previously referred to a plan to win the war that would kill 10 million people, but said he does not want to carry it out
It was not immediately clear what Trump meant when they & # 39; came back to our country & # 39 ;. The September 11 attacks were the result of an extensive conspiracy where foreign-born terrorists, including some who trained in Afghanistan, entered the US and then carried out the hijackings.
Trump has previously alluded to devastating potential battle plans. He warned in July that he could win the 18-year Afghan war "in a week," but said, "I don't want to kill 10 million people."
He made the comment during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
"I have plans with 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 ten days," Trump of the Oval Office said.
That comment drew a critical response from the Allied Afghan government. Trump clarified in August that he did not mean using nuclear weapons in making similar comments, although it is hard to imagine how the death toll could reach 10 million with conventional weapons alone.
& # 39; As I said, and I will say it several times – and this does not use nuclear resources – we could win that war in a week if we wanted to fight it, but I am not going to 10 million people to kill, & Trump then threatened.
"I am not going to kill 10 million Afghans, because that should happen, and I am not going to," he said.
The US has stationed around 14,000 troops in Afghanistan and it is not yet clear whether those numbers will change after the failed talks.
Trump made his comments about Afghanistan on Wednesday immediately after discussing the heroes of September 11.
& # 39; On this solemn memorial day, our thoughts also address the 200,000 brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guards, and marines currently stationed abroad, & # 39; said Trump. "We are not looking for conflict, but if someone dares to hit our country, we will respond with the full degree of American power and the iron will of the American spirit. And that mind is unbreakable. & # 39;
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