Wednesday, June 07, 2017

US might take the hard option in Afghanistan

NEW DELHI: The US official policy on supporting a "peace process" in Afghanistan may change.

In remarks at Canberra, US defence secretary James Mattis gave clear indication that the US may not give Taliban the space for a political "solution" in Afghanistan. The message from Rex Tillerson secretary of state and Mattis is the same - Taliban is a terror group, and they will be tackled militarily.

Mattis said, "we're up against an enemy that knows that they cannot win at the ballot box, and you think - we have to sometimes remind ourselves of that reality. That's why they use bombs because ballots would ensure they never had a role to play..."

Tillerson continued, "our commitment to Afghanistan is to ensure that it never becomes a safe haven for terrorists to launch attacks against the civilized world or against any other part of the world or any of their neighbors." Thus far, the US has been pushing the Afghan government to set up a peace process with the Taliban, as the only way to end the war.

Although the official US review of its Afghanistan policy is still pending, the remarks are a strong signal that the US may turn up the military heat on the Taliban. Certainly, there is no more the oft-repeated line that the US believes "there is no military solution" to the Afghan crisis. - Read More

US might take the hard option in Afghanistan - Times of India


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