America’s top general has said that he was optimistic U.S.-Taliban discussions would restart, increasing the prospects of a deal to end America’s greatest war.
Wondering if the Taliban’s launch of 2 Western hostages before this month, such as an American, had improved the prospect of discussions, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley reacted Wednesday that they had been”greater than I have seen.”
“I believe we are in a much better place than we have been, does not mean we’re there yet nevertheless,” Milley told reporters en route to Afghanistan. “I am optimistic, but we will see.”
Back in September, President Donald Trump called the discussions which were supposed to lead to broader peace discussions and also to allow the U.S. to draw its approximately 13,000 troops in the war-torn nation.
Since 2001, when U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban government after it sheltered 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel and over 2,400 Americans were murdered in Afghanistan. Between Jan. 2009, when the United Nations started a systematic documentation of civilian casualties, also Sept. 2019, some 34,000 civilians died as a consequence of the armed conflict.
While the resumption of all U.S.-Taliban discussions remains up in the atmosphere, Milley said the odds of the Afghan authorities and Taliban reaching a negotiated settlement might occur in the”not too distant future”
“There’s a wide understanding that the war in Afghanistan ends in some type of negotiated settlement between the government of Afghanistan and different insurgent parts of the Taliban,” he explained.
“With a little bit of luck we will have successful discussions in the long run, not too distant future,” he stated, adding that the discussions were”continuing”
Even though U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan since 2001, violence and war has plagued the nation for decades.
Milley reported that a negotiated settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban was probably in the best interest of all parties and could”bring the war, quote quote, to a finish.”
He said that an American drawdown will be determined by”conditions” being fulfilled but didn’t define what those conditions may be.
However, NBC News reported last month the Pentagon was drawing up plans to an unexpected withdrawal of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan if Trump shocks military leaders by ordering an immediate drawdown because he did in Syria, according to three current and former defense officers.
Administration officials also have said the president is expected to proceed with what one official called”a token withdrawal” of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan at the end of this season.
Ending wars such as the one in Afghanistan was one of Trump’s primary campaign claims in 2016. Trump has made evident to his advisers he wishes to pull on all U.S. troops from Afghanistan from the 2020 election, NBC News reported in August.
Last month, the U.S. Army said that it’d gradually decreased the amount of troops from Afghanistan by approximately 2,000. Also, it stated it might continue counter-terrorism surgeries with approximately 8,600 troops from the nation.
Asked Wednesday if this was the amount that the military was planning to depart, Miley said no decisions were made but that has been among many choices.