On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis made an unannounced visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, his presence there a secret due to security concerns. He was there to “take stock of the security situation — I want to talk to our Afghan partner leaders of the unity government, and I want to talk to our troops.” He also spoke with NATO coalition leadership and the U.S. Embassador to Afghanistan, John Bass. He would also speak to Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

Mattis once again clarified what victory looks like in the current stage of the war, regardless of any previous definitions of the word in this context. He said that “[Victory in Afghanistan means] a country whose own people and their own security forces can handle law enforcement, any threats … with international support … all working to achieve a reconciliation — a political reconciliation, not a military victory — the victory will be a political reconciliation.” He went on to discuss offers made with the Taliban to achieve this reconciliation with the Afghan government. Only then will they be able to move forward in development, infrastructure and long lasting peace.

Check out Secretary of Defense’s statement on the matter here, prior to his entry into the country, as reported by the Associated Press: