The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it is working to forge an international consensus behind the need for an Afghanistan peace accord even as it acknowledged that "all indications" point to the Taliban seeking a "battlefield victory." Gavino Garay reports.
The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it is working to forge an international consensus behind the need for an Afghanistan peace accord even as it acknowledged that "all indications" point to the Taliban seeking a "battlefield victory." The comments made came as envoys from the United States, China, Russia and other countries met in Doha with Taliban and Afghan government negotiators in a bid to break a deadlock in peace talks.
The Islamist insurgents pressed offensives across Afghanistan that have overrun at least eight provincial capitals, and a U.S. defense official, citing U.S. intelligence, told Reuters the Taliban could isolate Kabul in 30 days and possibly take it in 90 days.
But Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby Wednesday said the fall of Kabul was not a foregone conclusion.
“We're focused on the security situation that we face now, which again, we've acknowledged is deteriorating…I'm not going to speak about planning contingencies, or potential outcomes.
And the other thing I'd say is that no potential outcome has to be inevitable, including the fall of Kabul, which everybody seems to be reporting about.
It doesn't have to be that way.” U.S. officials said the Taliban are violating "the letter and the spirit" of the February 2020 U.S.-Taliban deal for a withdrawal of all American troops from America’s longest war.
The United States has not fulfilled some of the commitments it made in the deal, including withdrawing all of its forces from Afghanistan by May 1.
The last are due to depart by Aug.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he did not regret his decision to withdraw and urged Afghan leaders to fight for their homeland.
He said the United States was providing significant air support, food, equipment and salaries to Afghan forces.