The acting U.S. Secretary of Defense arrived unannounced in Afghanistan to push for President Donald Trump’s agenda in the peace talks and to reassure the marginalized government.
Excluded Afghan President Claims Last Word on Any Peace Deal
Contradicting the U.S. President's claim that the peace talks with the Taliban are going to help end the war, Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan stated he has received no instructions to cut the number of U.S. troops in the region, which is top of the Taliban’s list for negotiating a peace agreement.
“The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like. It’s not about the U.S., it’s about Afghanistan,” Shanahan told a small group of reporters who had traveled with him on the trip.
However, arguably why U.S. is conducting peace talks - other than alleging the need for peace, is that it has its own agenda for the region, in-particular Afghanistan. This is evident with Shanahan's admission that, "The US military has strong security interests in the region. (The) presence will evolve out of those discussions," reported Azvision.
Watching from the sidelines is Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, who is eagerly trying to have his voice heard, and attributing the power to his government to have the final say over any agreement reached between the two main parties conducting negotiations.
The war in Afghanistan started more than 15 years ago after the U.S. invaded the country and overthrew the Taliban government as part of ex-President George W. Bush’s global “war on terror” following the United States' 9/11 terrorist attacks.