Mattis calls for political solution to Afghan war
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/13/18, 09:03 am
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday said victory in the 17-year Afghan war will come through political means and not military efforts. He made the comments during a surprise visit to Kabul, Afghanistan. “We do look toward a victory in Afghanistan,” he said. “Not a military victory—the victory will be a political reconciliation.” Mattis noted the solution will involve agreements between members of the Taliban and the Afghan government, and must include assurances the Afghan military can secure the country on its own. He said the approach will first involve militants “who are tired of fighting.” Mattis added, “We know there is interest on the Taliban side.” He met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and also planned to meet with some top U.S. commanders. This is Mattis’ second visit to Afghanistan since President Donald Trump announced in August he would intensify efforts to end the conflict. Since then, the United States has boosted its presence in the country by about 3,500 troops, including soldiers and support troops.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.