Trump Declares Afghan Peace Talks With Taliban ‘Dead’ – The New York Times

“The Taliban are continuing massive violence against Afghans, against forces and civilians,” Ambassador Roya Rahmani, the Afghan envoy to the United States, said in an interview on Monday. “These are not just numbers — they are real people, they are families. And the impacts of these killings will remain an impact on generations. This is not a way forward for peace.”

She said the elections would go forward, “because that is a way toward stability and continuity and peace.”

In the meantime, however, the Trump administration is stepping up its own attacks on the Taliban.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said American forces in Afghanistan had killed over 1,000 members of the Taliban over the last 10 days. In a tweet on Monday, Mr. Trump said that “over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!”

Mr. Trump offered no statistics to back up his statement, or whether he was referring to ground combat or attacks from the air. American troop levels in Afghanistan hit a wartime high in 2011, with more than 100,000 forces fighting daily against the Taliban.

But late last week, a suicide car bomb in Kabul killed an American soldier and 11 others; the attack infuriated Mr. Trump, who said he then called off a meeting with Taliban and Afghan leaders at Camp David.

In his comments to reporters on Monday, Mr. Trump also defended the idea of finalizing a peace agreement at Camp David, saying the famous presidential retreat had been used before to host people who “would not have been considered politically correct.”

The Taliban have long demanded that all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan. This weekend, Iran joined in that call. For Mr. Trump to accede now, his aides fear, would be a sign of weakness.


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