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Defense Secretary Calls For Peace Settlement In Afghanistan

by Countable | Updated on 3.13.18

What’s the story?

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is in Afghanistan. The Associated Press reports Mattis said to reporters that victory in the region is likely, but it will not be a military victory. Instead, he called for peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Kabul.

Mattis does not expect a wholesale commitment to peace by the Taliban, but suggested that certain members and factions could be "peeled off" because they are so tired of fighting after 16 years.

The war in Afghanistan is the longest military conflict in U.S. history.

Mattis said that the recent increase in troops in Afghanistan will "convince the insurgents they cannot win on the battlefield, thus driving them to reconcile with the Afghan government."

According to the report, experts on the region are skeptical that the Secretary’s calls for peace negotiations will create an opening with the Taliban. Officially, the Taliban maintains that conflict-ending talks must occur between themselves and Washington, not Kabul.

The U.S. military efforts are focused on supporting the Afghan government and military, so that they can control the region independently. The head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, testified to Congress in February that Afghani security forces are improving, but that they cannot "prevent the insurgency from maintaining a rural presence" or periodically attacking population centers or key travel routes.

A negotiation may be the only way, therefore, to create lasting peace.

What do you think?

Do you think the U.S. should be pursuing peace negotiations in Afghanistan? Did you support the increase in troops ordered by the Trump administration? Do you think there is any hope for an end to conflict in the region?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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(45)
  • Jim2423
    03/13/2018
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    Good luck, Afghanistan has be in turmoil ever since WWI when it was made into one country. We need to allow them to chose how they want to live and stay out of their affairs even if it offends our way of life. The British and the Russians learned this so why can’t we?

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  • Barbara
    03/13/2018
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    Why are we the worlds police? I don’t care about Afghanistan but I am sick of pouring money and troops into a bottomless pit. This has to be about mineral rights for billionaires. If it was about human rights then why isn’t the UN handling it? Follow the money to the Industrial war machine and human greed. My grandson is getting ready to deploy. As a member of a military family, my immediate family has over12 years actual combat time. You people can easily be replaced in Washington. Start thinking of people not $$$$$ in your pockets from the NRA, big pharma and the giant corporations that own you all! Overturn CITIZENS UNITED, then tell me how great you are!

    Like (17)
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  • Michael.J.L
    03/13/2018
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    Should have happened years ago, but then the corporations that are making money off this war would see that money flow stop.

    Like (14)
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  • John
    03/13/2018
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    Time to end the forever war.

    Like (12)
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  • BeStrong
    03/13/2018
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    Well done General Mattis. After 17 years we are bone tired and want our soldiers out of Afghanistan. Well done sir 👏🏿 👏🏿 👏🏿 And Mr Trump, NO PRIVATE FORCES left in country, out is out. Sorry Blackwater guy, you’ll have to go back to the Seychelles islands for business.

    Like (9)
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  • Lesia
    03/14/2018
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    Public servants - bring our real public servants home. Your war mongering needs to stop. No need to keep using the poor as cannon fodder to further enrich the weAlthy. Your tax “cuts” are doing a fine job of both objectives.

    Like (9)
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  • Aaron
    03/14/2018
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    Let’s put our tax dollars to better use than go to war. -veteran

    Like (8)
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  • Mancos
    03/13/2018
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    Not to sound cynical, but...on the surface this looks fine. I even think that Trump will support this. BUT...wasn’t it his plan to send in mercenaries, (I recall references to this with Price early in the administration? ) With this administration, there’s always a back door leading to something Russian. Oil? Weapon sales?

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  • Jeffery
    03/14/2018
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    It’s time to stop nation building. It hasn’t worked since the end of WWII. Close up shop and bring the troops home. Use the Trillions of dollars for investing in America’s crumbling infrastructure and education. Stop the wars in Syria and the meddling in Iraq too. Use that money to help the Veterans and the homeless Veterans.

    Like (7)
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  • Adam
    03/14/2018
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    Shut down the war machine. I think we’ve caused enough destruction in the region for 2 decades

    Like (6)
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  • Caren
    03/14/2018
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    I am skeptical that there could be lasting peace in Afghanistan. I am very sorry for the people there who suffer as a result of the Taliban. The US should not be expected to fund and support the government. Any country must be self-sustaining and do right by their citizenry so they can also support their families and themselves. Afghanistan has the responsibility of protecting their citizens and the UN discerning how to lend support. This should not be the responsibility of only the United States.

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  • Deirdre
    03/13/2018
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    I think that a peace settlement is the start to end this war. We need to figure other ways of dealing with this besides sending more troops and creating more misery. It needs to end. To many innocent lives have either been taken or destroyed.

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  • Alison
    03/13/2018
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    We need to get out of Afghanistan. It has had a turbulent history since the 1850’s when the British fought & lost to them. Let them settle their own business. We weren’t asked to come in we just went. Bring our troops home!

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  • BeStrong
    03/13/2018
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    Well shit...now Mr Trump wants to look into doing battle in outer space😳. **President Trump hints at creation of a 'Space Force' Mar. 13, 2018 - 2:16 - Trump tells military members at Miramar Air Station in San Diego, CA that space is a war-fighting domain. WHEN did space become US territory? And this-guy who hid behind his fathers purse strings rather than go to Nam wants war everywhere now that he is old and feeble of mind.

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  • Azrael
    03/13/2018
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    Will he be employed tomorrow to make the deal? Doubt it

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  • Christopher
    03/14/2018
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    This was the same conclusion reached by the previous administration; the war with the Taliban is unsustainable without allies. This means the Afghans must find the means to share power in the country to prevent further bloodshed. Pakistan must assist and others must stop the flow of weapons and financial support for the Taliban. Only shared interests will save this country and its occupants from civil war and a perpetual quagmire for the U.S.

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  • FrancoisMarc
    03/14/2018
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    If we believe that “victory” in Afghanistan can be achieved through a traditional, state to state conflict, we’re kidding ourselves. Since 1945 we’ve continuously tried to recreate the nobility and honor that was sold alongside the imperative for joining the WW2 effort. No conflict since has fit the criteria, and as such, our military record since 1950 is very complicated (to put it gently). It’s time to start asking the question of which tool is right for the job at hand, rather than try to fix every leak with a gilded broadsword. I had a boss who used to say “if ya always do what ya always did, you’ll always get what ya always got.” Seems pretty simple to me. Get behind Sec Mad Dog and let’s stop wasting trillions of dollars giving our most honorable men and women PTSD.

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  • denali
    03/14/2018
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    This stupid war is not making us safer. Get the h3ll out.

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  • Doug
    03/14/2018
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    Good job Jim Mathis the goal of all conflict is peace.

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  • Anne
    03/14/2018
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    Peace! Please!

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