Military to Ramp Up Afghanistan Operations, Trump Says Taliban Talks Are Dead
The U.S. military is likely to accelerate the pace of its operations in Afghanistan to counter an increase in Taliban attacks, a senior U.S. general said on Monday following Washington's suspension of peace talks with the insurgents.
Trump had hoped to cap months of U.S. negotiations with the Taliban militants, who control large parts of Afghanistan, with a secret meeting at Camp David that would include Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and was aimed at securing an agreement to pull U.S. troops out of America’s longest war of 18 years.
A draft accord agreed last week would have seen about 5,000 American troops withdrawn over coming months in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militant attacks on the United States or its allies.
Bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan has been one of Trump’s main foreign policy objectives, and the Republican president said his administration was still thinking about a drawdown of the 14,000 U.S. soldiers in the country.
“We’d like to get out but we’ll get out at the right time,” he said.
The halt to the negotiations has led to fears of even more violence across Afghanistan, with heightened security warnings in the capital Kabul and other centers ahead of a presidential election scheduled for Sept. 28.
The Taliban said on Sunday that more American lives would be lost as a result of Trump’s decision to cancel talks.