In a recent situation room meeting with generals and top national security advisors, President Donald Trump reportedly compared war policy to renovating a restaurant and complained that the U.S. isn’t doing enough to exploit Afghanistan’s mineral wealth.
This is according to senior administration officials who leaked details of the “tense” meeting to NBC News.
Trump also complained that the U.S. is “losing” the war in Afghanistan—which is approaching its 16th year—and said he was contemplating firing Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of American forces in the country, who he has not met.
Here’s how NBC summarized the conversation:
As Common Dreams reported last week, Trump has long been enticed by the prospect of plundering Afghanistan’s untapped mineral reserves. In the meeting with his national security advisors, NBC noted, Trump reiterated his wishes and fumed that China is “making money off of Afghanistan’s estimated $1 trillion in rare minerals while American troops are fighting the war.”
Trump also “expressed frustration that his advisers tasked with figuring out how the U.S. can help American businesses get rights to those minerals were moving too slowly,” NBC reported.
Commentators have in the past argued that Trump’s desire to exploit a war-torn country’s mineral reserves amounts to a longing for “colonialism.”
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