US Military Chief admits US made only modest gains in fight against Taliban in Afghanistan
*Karachi - United States Army Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Mark Milley, has admitted that the US and its Afghan partners in Kabul made only modest gains in fight against Taliban over the past two decades, Vox News reported.*
Speaking at a think tank virtual event in Washington about the planned drawdown to 2,500 US troops in the country by January 15, Trump's top military advisor said: "We have been in a condition of strategic stalemate where the government of Afghanistan was never going to militarily defeat the Taliban."
He added that till the time the US is supporting the Afghanistan government, Taliban cannot military defeat the regime.
Milley maintained American forces were deployed in Afghanistan to ensure that the Afghan soil can never be used to strike the US. "We believe that now after 20 years — two decades of consistent effort there — we’ve achieved a modicum of success.”
As part of the drawdown plan, Pentagon will keep two larger bases in Afghanistan. Mark Milley mentioned that in addition to the two larger bases, the United States would also keep “several satellite bases.”
On December 2, the US-backed Afghan government and Taliban representatives reached a preliminary deal to go ahead with peace negotiations.
In February this year, an agreement was struck between the United States and the Taliban in which it was agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released from Afghan prisons before peace talks between the militant group and the government.
On August 10, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree to release the final batch of prisoners demanded by the Taliban as a condition to move to peace talks. Later, the Afghan government released the remaining Taliban prisoners, kicking of intra-Afghan peace talks.
However, as the peace process was going forward, violent clashes and attacks between the militant groups and Afghan forces occurred, claiming lives of several people. It was feared that the attacks might disrupt the intra-Afghan peace talks but timely reconciliatory efforts by Pakistan and other states helped reviving the negotiations.