US Should Boost Support For Afghan Forces To Achieve Progress In Taliban Talks - Dunford

US Should Boost Support for Afghan Forces to Achieve Progress in Taliban Talks - Dunford

The US military needs to boost its support for the Afghan Armed Forces in order to pressure the Taliban into to make more progress in its negotiations with the United States, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday

NEW YORK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) The US military needs to boost its support for the Afghan Armed Forces in order to pressure the Taliban into to make more progress in its negotiations with the United States, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

"First, to put pressure on the Taliban, we need to continue to provide enabling capability to the Afghan forces, that is put in the form of train advice and assistance, we have the right leaders at the right place to assist the Afghans, and we also [need to] provide the combat enabling capabilities: aviation, intelligence, logistic support as well, and then, most importantly, senator, on the ground is the counter-terrorism capability," Dunford said in testimony to the committee.

Dunford argued that US military pressure on the Taliban had contributed to the fact that representatives of the movement are now sitting down at the negotiation table for the first time since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.

He also said that the combination of support for the Afghan forces had created the conditions for establishing active counterterrorism presence in South Asia to secure US citizens.

The most recent round of talks between the United States and the Taliban talks kicked off on February 25 and ended 16 days later on March 16 in Doha. US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has said he intends to travel to Washington, DC this week to inform the US leadership, including President Donald Trump, about the results of the negotiations.

The Taliban movement has been one of the major forces opposing the Afghan government in the latter's long-standing confrontation with various rebel and terror groups.

In 1996, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, and the United States redeployed troops to the country in 2001 to fight the al-Qaeda terror group (banned in Russia) in retaliation for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on US soil.

The US troops eventually overthrew the Taliban, saying that the country had become a safe haven for al-Qaeda, while group was in power.

While most of US troops left Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the United States continues to maintain a military presence on the ground to support Afghan forces in combating terrorism.

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