The Trump administration is pushing for Afghan-led reconciliation between Taliban narco-jihadists and Kabul as U.S. military and intelligence officials reportedly expressed concern that Afghanistan is teetering on the brink of providing haven to terrorists seeking to attack America.
Echoing U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Mattis indicated that the Trump administration’s goal is to pressure Taliban jihadists to engage in peace talks by making them realize they cannot win on the battlefield, notes the Associated Press (AP).
“We do look toward a victory in Afghanistan,” Mattis said, adding, “Not a military victory — the victory will be a political reconciliation” with the Taliban, which has achieved a stalemate in recent years and shown little interest in conceding to the Kabul government.
Despite the thousands of U.S. military casualties from the ongoing Afghan war, the U.N., the American military, and independent analysts have reported that both groups have grown stronger since the United States declared war on them in response to 9/11.
“[A]merican officials have increasingly warned that safe havens are back,” reports NYT.