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Defense Secretary Esper Arrives In Afghanistan To Devise A Way Forward In 18-Year War


Added 10-20-19 12:06:02pm EST - “His visit to restart peace talks with the Taliban comes amid debate about the role of U.S. troops in the region after Trump quickly began withdrawing forces from northeastern Syria earlier this month.” - Npr.org

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Npr.org: “Defense Secretary Esper Arrives In Afghanistan To Devise A Way Forward In 18-Year War”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (center), is greeted by U.S. military personnel upon arriving in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. Lolita C. Balbor/AP hide caption

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (center), is greeted by U.S. military personnel upon arriving in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper traveled to Afghanistan on Saturday in an effort to restart peace talks with the Taliban after President Trump scrapped plans for negotiations at Camp David last month.

His visit to Kabul comes amid questions about the role of U.S. troops in the region after Trump quickly began withdrawing forces from northeastern Syria earlier this month. Esper told reporters traveling with him that those U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq to help in the fight against the Islamic State.

In terms of the U.S. goals for Afghanistan, Esper said the main objective is still for the Taliban and the Afghan government to broker a peace deal. The stalled talks have been a wrench in the Trump administration's vow to remove some of the 14,000 troops based in Afghanistan. The White House has said that the U.S. will only withdraw forces if both sides agree not to allow Afghanistan to become a safe harbor for terrorists.

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