WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Tuesday the U.S. navy function in Afghanistan has principally became a “ridiculous” police pressure in an indication that he’s open to a U.S. troop drawdown there after 18 years of conflict.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad speaks throughout a debate at Tolo TV channel in Kabul, Afghanistan April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photograph
Trump was briefed on Friday by high nationwide safety aides on a peace plan being negotiated by U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad with leaders of the Afghanistan authorities and the Taliban.
“We’re having good discussions. We’ll see what occurs. It’s 18 years. We’re not likely combating. We’re nearly a police pressure over there. We’re not purported to be a police pressure,” he stated.
Some 14,000 U.S. troops stay engaged in America’s longest conflict, coaching and advising Afghan safety forces and conducting counterinsurgency operations in opposition to militant teams comparable to al Qaeda and Islamic State’s native affiliate.
A pullout has raised fears throughout the U.S. navy and amongst some lawmakers that Afghanistan may plunge into a brand new civil conflict that would see a return of Taliban rule and provides al Qaeda and different militants a sanctuary during which to increase and plot new assaults on U.S. and allied targets.
Khalilzad was touring on Tuesday to renew talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, “as a part of an general effort to facilitate a peace course of that ends the battle in Afghanistan,” the State Division stated in an announcement.
Khalilzad will seek the advice of with leaders of the Afghan authorities in Kabul and encourage negotiations between the 2 sides, it stated.
Trump, inheriting a conflict begun by then-President George W. Bush in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults, expressed a willingness to take away among the U.S. troops there however stated some are wanted to ensure the US has intelligence property on the bottom.
“We’re bringing a few of our troops again however we’ve got to have a presence,” he stated.
He reiterated that he may finish the conflict shortly however “I’m not seeking to kill 10 million Afghans as a result of that’s what must occur.”
“However it’s a conflict that’s been happening nearly 19 years and albeit it’s ridiculous. However with that being stated, it’s a harmful place and we’ve got to at all times keep watch over it,” he stated.
Trump stated the Taliban want to cease combating the People however that it’s not clear the Taliban could be trusted.
“The conversations are going nicely. However in the long run, will probably be about what’s delivered on the bottom, whether or not that’s from the Afghan authorities, different Afghans that aren’t contained in the Afghan authorities, the Taliban,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated on Tuesday in an interview with CNBC.
“The reality will probably be within the actuality. What actually occurs on the bottom? If we are able to cut back violence, we’ll create an area the place we are able to withdraw not solely American help however NATO forces which can be there as nicely,” Pompeo stated.
Islamic State militants, who battle authorities forces and the Taliban and have carried out among the deadliest assaults in city facilities, won’t be a part of the deal between the US and the Taliban.
Islamic State has claimed duty for a suicide assault on a marriage in Kabul on Saturday that killed 63 individuals and wounded 182.
Reporting by Steve Holland, Doina Chiacu, Humeyra Pamuk and Lesley Wroughton; Modifying by Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Shumaker