Donald Trump has suggested he will make a trade deal with the Taliban if he is re-elected as president in 2024.
Speaking to a crowd in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on Saturday, the former president said he would do so to regain control of Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan and monitor China.
The United States left the military facility on July 2, 2021 before American troops completely left the country a few weeks later on August 30.
But former president Trump hit out at the decision to hand over control of Bagram Airfield to Afghan forces at a campaign rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa on Saturday.
The 77-year-old claimed that the base was located an hour away from where China developed its nuclear missiles and said it was now occupied by them.
He told people he wanted Bagram Airfield back as part of a trade deal with Afghanistan.
“We’re going to keep Bagram,” Trump told the crowd at the event. ‘Bagram is the largest base there is, anywhere in the world.
‘The biggest runway, the most powerful, it can hold eight feet of concrete. They can handle anything and we hand it over.’
He added that he does not want it for Afghanistan but will keep an eye on China.
‘I like it because that’s an hour away from where China built their nuclear missiles and we left it.
‘Why did we leave it? This thing cost billions of dollars, many years ago. We don’t need it for Afghanistan but it’s right next to where they make their missiles, China.’
‘Now you know who occupies it? China,’ Trump admitted. ‘China is occupying it. How crazy are these people? It’s so sad.’
However, he suggested he would restore Bagram Airfield if he is re-elected next year by making a deal with Afghanistan, which has been ruled by Taliban warlords since President Biden ended the country’s withdrawal in August. 2021.
Extremist group diplomacy seems unlikely. They were expelled from US power in 2001 for harboring 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
‘But we’ll get it,’ Trump said. ‘We’ll bring it back, maybe we’ll get it as part of a trade deal.
‘Give us back that damn airport.’
Bagram Airfield was the largest US military base in Afghanistan at the time before it was secretly evacuated in July 2021.
It was taken back by the Afghan government before it fell to Taliban insurgents on August 15, 2021 after the NATO-trained Afghan Army surrendered.
Trump’s visit to Iowa is part of his fall push to sign up supporters and volunteers ahead of the fast-approaching state caucuses that will kick off the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
This is the latest in a series of targeted stops in the region aimed at seizing large crowds that the former president has dragged to compel attendees to commit to vote for him and serve as precinct leaders on January 15. .
While Trump boasted that the polls showed him ahead of other contenders, he urged Saturday’s attendees to come out on the day of the caucus to ‘make sure we have a big win’ that would signal other candidates. that they should quit.
‘Will you please give me a good show?’ Trump asked the crowd to clap. ‘That’s the least you can do.’
While Trump has a comfortable edge over his primary rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, in early polls of likely caucus participants, the Trump campaign was more aggressive in Iowa than in any other early voting state.
And he continued to attack DeSantis and Haley during his appearance on Saturday, criticizing the Florida governor for his past opposition to federal ethanol mandates and for running against Trump.
Trump has made regular stops in Iowa, appearing at eight events in front of audiences of more than 16,000, according to Trump’s Secret Service details, over the past eight weeks.
It is part of a 2024 strategy that promotes the organization more than he did in his campaign in 2016, when he finished in second place.