March 12, 2018
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who made an unannounced visit to Kabul on Tuesday, told reporters that he believes victory is still possible and "we know there is interest" on the Taliban side to reconcile.
Some Taliban fighters interested in ending nearly 17-year war, Mattis says
“In other words, it may not be that the whole Taliban comes over in one fell swoop,” he said, according to Reuters. “That may be a bridge too far to expect. But there are elements of the Taliban clearly interested in talking to the Afghan government.”
Mattis, a retired Marine general who commanded U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan in the opening weeks of the war in 2001, said getting the Taliban to reconcile en masse may be "a bridge too far." So the emphasis is on drawing in Taliban elements piecemeal.
“We’ve had some groups of Taliban – small groups – who have either started to come over or expressed an interest in talking,” Mattis said, according to Reuters.
He described this approach as an effort to "start peeling off those who are tired of fighting," after more than 16 years of war.
The country is still unsafe. The Associated Press reported that security concerns were so high that reporters traveling with Mattis were not allowed to publish stories until his party had moved from the Kabul airport to the U.S.-led military coalition's headquarters. That was the first such restriction on coverage of a Pentagon chief's visit in memory.
Mattis said he would be meeting with President Ashraf Ghani and top U.S. commanders. In late February, Ghani called on the Taliban to take part in peace talks to "save the country," offering security and incentives such as passports to insurgents who are willing to join the negotiations.
"We do look toward a victory in Afghanistan," he said, adding, "Not a military victory -- the victory will be a political reconciliation" with the Taliban, which has achieved a stalemate in recent years and shown little interest in conceding to the Kabul government."
The visit is Mattis's second since President Donald Trump announced last August that, despite his instinct to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, his administration would take a more aggressive approach to the conflict, now in its 17th year.
Trump, on Jan. 29, said that he sees no basis for peace talks as long as the Taliban are "killing people left and right."
As part of an effort to bolster Afghan fighting strength, the U.S. in recent weeks sent an Army group of about 800 soldiers, accompanied by several hundred support troops, to advise the Afghans closer to the front lines.
The U.S. also shifted A-10 attack planes and other aircraft from striking Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan as part of Trump's new approach. These and other moves boosted the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by at least 3,500 to a total of more than 14,000.
Mattis has said that the U.S. goal is to enable Afghan forces to weaken the Taliban to the point where the Afghans can manage their own security. Put another way, the aim is to convince the insurgents they cannot win on the battlefield, thus driving them to reconcile with the Afghan government.
The Taliban stance is that talks for a conflict-ending compromise must take place with Washington, not Kabul.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Jimmy Fallon "Horrified" By His Blackface "SNL" Sketch | E! News
June 02, 2020
nYcrrYtGRfA
Victor Cruz on Explaining Racism to Young Daughter | Daily Pop | E! News
June 02, 2020
cO2_CENUukU
Are Curfew Times Changing to Prevent Peaceful Protests? | Daily Pop | E! News
June 02, 2020
lYLWkFT_07E
Kylie Jenner faked her way to billionaire status, Forbes says | Page Six Celebrity News
May 29, 2020
BCSYS0HFHG0
Zonnique, daughter of Tiny Harris, shows off Atlanta home music studio | Page Six Celebrity News
May 29, 2020
kxKFasdVQKE
Wanda Sykes and Scott Baio at war over Joe Biden’s ‘ain’t black’ remarks | Page Six Celebrity News
May 28, 2020
u3TYzRbpRdk
Hasan Minhaj, Kumail Nanjiani, Lulu Wang, Jon M. Chu, Ally Maki Join #Represent: Success Stories
May 30, 2020
wuCMpiZ5t6U
'Ramy' Creator Ramy Youssef on Season 2, Working With Mahershala Ali
May 29, 2020
TZk6RXM2OiI
Chris Evans Talks 'Defending Jacob' Season Finale
May 29, 2020
EJkYstFrquo
Bernice King, MLK's Daughter, Says There are Important Roles for Non-Protesters Too | TMZ
June 03, 2020
TOdZ9Y7WILo
'Tiger King' Jeff Lowe Says Carole Baskin's Getting Ghosts With Zoo | TMZ
June 03, 2020
wZ04cCTcraU
Kaley Cuoco Rejoices As She Eats At A Restaurant ‘For The First Time In Months’ | TMZ
June 02, 2020
fYYmNSYD1UY
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Inter Milan
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Manchester City
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Everton
08
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Madrid
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Genoa
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Tottenham Hotspur
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Sociedad
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Bournemouth
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
01
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Barcelona
01
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
01
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Wolves
01
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Espanyol - Atletico Madrid
01
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Roma
29
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Watford - Liverpool
29
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Torino
29
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Bournemouth - Chelsea
24
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - West Ham United
23
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Everton
23
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Watford
23
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Lecce
23
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Villarreal
22
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Real Madrid
22
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - AC Milan
22
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Manchester City
22
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - Juventus
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.