World: Top Pentagon official in Afghanistan amid push for peace - PressFrom - US
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WorldTop Pentagon official in Afghanistan amid push for peace

15:26  11 february  2019
15:26  11 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

Taliban demand new constitution for Afghanistan at rare talks

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Pentagon ’s top official made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban. Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, said he has no orders to

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KABUL, Afghanistan — The Pentagon's top official made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban.

Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, said he has no orders to reduce the U.S. troop presence, although officials say that is at the top of the Taliban's list of demands in exploratory peace negotiations.

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In 1992, Rabbani officially became president of the Islamic State of Afghanistan , but had to An unnamed senior Pentagon official told the BBC that at some point between 12 July – 12 September Despite pushing back the Taliban with the support of US airstrikes in August, the Afghan government

Pentagon IDs remains of Tuskegee Airman killed in WWII. KABUL — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit Friday, in the midst of a push by the Trump Despite the new approach, U.S. officials have insisted that the peace process would still be “ Afghan -owned

Shanahan said he is encouraged that President Donald Trump's administration is exploring all possibilities for ending a 17-year war, the longest in American history.

But he stressed that peace terms are for the Afghans to decide. Thus far the Taliban have refused to negotiate with the government of President Ashraf Ghani, calling it illegitimate. Washington is trying to break that impasse.

"The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like. It's not about the U.S., it's about Afghanistan," Shanahan told reporters traveling with him from Washington.

Later, Shanahan flew to a military base ringed by snow-capped hills where he met Afghan army commandos, who are regarded as the most capable element of the Afghan military. He told reporters the U.S.-trained commandos are increasingly on the offensive against the Taliban.

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Acting Defense Secretary arrives at Resolute Support for an announced visit to meet the head of US forces in Afghanistan and later Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Comes amid a U.S. push for peace talks with the Taliban. pic.twitter.com/xGpuzqtUD2.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit Friday, in the midst of a push by the Trump administration Haroon Chakhansuri, a spokesman for Mr. Ghani, said that the American officials had discussed peace prospects as well as other subjects with

Zalmay Khalilzad, the administration's special envoy for Afghan peace talks, said Friday that although talks are in an early stage, he hopes a deal can be made by July. That is when Afghanistan is scheduled to hold a presidential election.

Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who had never been in Afghanistan until Monday, was scheduled to meet with Ghani and other top government officials.

Shanahan took over as acting secretary of defense on Jan. 1 after Jim Mattis submitted his resignation in December. Shanahan had been Mattis' No. 2.

Shanahan's views on the Afghan war are not widely known. He said he would use this week's visit to inform his thinking and to report back to Trump.

In testimony before Congress last week, Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, offered a largely optimistic view of Afghanistan, saying the current maneuvering between U.S. and Taliban negotiators is "our first real opportunity for peace and reconciliation since the war began."

U.S. Heightens Attacks on Taliban in Push Toward Peace in Afghanistan

U.S. Heightens Attacks on Taliban in Push Toward Peace in Afghanistan WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has stepped up airstrikes and special operations raids in Afghanistan to the highest levels since 2014 in what Defense Department officials described as a coordinated series of attacks on Taliban leaders and fighters. The surge, which began during the fall, is intended to give American negotiators leverage in peace talks with the Taliban after President Trump said he would begin withdrawing troops and wind down the nearly 18-year war.

Afghanistan office on WN Network delivers the latest Videos and Editable pages for News & Events, including He is also an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and has received orders from the Pentagon to deploy to Afghanistan . Ghani asserts his authority amid Afghan peace talks. Top US commander in Afghanistan said on Tuesday that political talks with the Taliban were a key

Officials from Afghanistan , Pakistan, the United States and China are meeting in Islamabad to pave the way for talks with the Taliban. But this push to

Votel noted that the Taliban are still capable of inflicting significant casualties on Afghan government forces. Just last week the insurgents killed some two dozen Afghan troops in an attack on an army base in northern Kunduz province.

In addition to battling the Taliban, U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan are focused on an Islamic State affiliate known as ISIS-Khorasan, comprised of foreign fighters largely from Pakistan. "Left unchecked," Votel said in his report to Congress, ISIS-Khorasan "will continue to grow as a threat to our homeland."

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Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit amid US push for talks with the Taliban which are calling for the withdrawal US President Donald Trump had promised to pull out troops from Afghanistan but he unveiled a revamped Afghan strategy last August, which

The Pentagon has confirmed the use of the MOAB, and is currently assessing damage. General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan , signed When asked if the use of the MOAB in Afghanistan might send a message to North Korea amid increased tensions with the isolated country

In his remarks to reporters during his flight to Kabul, Shanahan said that although the Islamic State presence in Syria "has been decimated," local Syrian security forces are needed to ensure stability. He said IS still has a global presence.

"If something hasn't been completely eradicated, there is a risk of it returning," he said.

Trump has taken an ambivalent approach to Afghanistan, saying his instinct upon entering office in 2017 was to withdraw. Yet he chose instead to add about 3,500 troops in 2017-2018 to bolster the U.S. effort to train and advise Afghan forces. After Mattis resigned in December, Trump insisted that he had been unhappy with how Mattis handled Afghanistan. Since then, the administration has said it achieved a tentative "framework" for fuller peace negotiations with the Taliban.

"We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement," Trump said in his State of the Union address to Congress last week, "but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace."

Pentagon chief in spotlight over Trump's Syria plans.
The fate of Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was thrown into the spotlight Wednesday following media reports of a fraught discussion he had with senior US lawmakers over Syria. The exchange took place on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference last weekend, where politicians grilled Shanahan on President Donald Trump's contentious decision to withdraw US forces from Syria.

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