Donald Trump’s decision to cancel Afghan peace talks will cost more American lives, the Taliban warned the Trump administration. On the other hand, Washington has promised to keep up military pressure on militants in Afghanistan and many experts believe that the US could hit back hard.
“This will lead to more losses to the US,” he said. “Its credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Afghan peace talks were on hold and Washington would not reduce US military support for Afghan troops until it was convinced the Taliban could follow through on significant commitments.
The United States has recalled US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, to map the path forward, Pompeo said in appearances on Sunday TV news shows. Asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether Afghan talks were dead, Pompeo said, “For the time being they are.”
US and Taliban negotiators struck a draft peace deal last week that could have led to a drawdown of troops from America’s longest war. There are currently 14,000 US forces as well as thousands of other NATO troops in the country, 18 years after its invasion by a US-led coalition following September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the United States.
Asked whether the collapse of talks put a US troop pullout on hold as well, Pompeo said the issue would be discussed. “The president hasn’t yet made a decision on that,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”