WASHINGTON: US presidential candidate Donald Trump has said that if he is elected to the White House then he would keep the country’s troops in Afghanistan to protect Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
Republican front-runner Trump made this statement while responding to a question during a presidential debate.
“I think you have to stay in Afghanistan for a while, because of the fact that you are right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons and we have to protect that,” Dawn quoted him as saying.
Trump, a billionaire campaigner, is popular among conservative Republicans and in rural America, where 70 percent white voters live.
Trump asserted that nuclear weapons change the game explaining why Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal necessitated the continued US military presence in Afghanistan.
The Republican front-runner had last year suggested involving India to de-nuclarise Pakistan.
Trump’s suggestion to keep the US troops in Afghanistan was one of the few serious references to foreign policy issues at the presidential debate.
According to reports, former CIA director Michael Hayden in an interview said the American military would refuse to obey Trump’s suggestions.
President Barack Obama had last year halted the withdrawal of American military forces from Afghanistan, announcing that the United States will keep thousands of troops in the country through the end of his term in 2017.