Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Afghanistan on Monday, without announcement, flying there from Vietnam. He first praised the forward momentum toward peace talks between warring parties in Afghanistan and credited much of the progress to President Trump’s implementation of his south Asia strategy.
He has echoed the sentiments of many up to this point — a desire for continued talks toward peace between the Taliban and the Afghan government. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis previously used the word “reconciliation.” If the United States is to leave, the Afghan government needs to be on peaceful terms with the Taliban to prevent further bloodshed. The Taliban has expressed an interest in this future, as long as the U.S. is not involved. However, the United States does not need to be on peaceful terms with the Taliban provided it has pulled out of the country. Compared to some other terror groups, the Taliban is more of a local threat than an international one. With that said, the DOD recently wanted to ensure that the Taliban also would not be a state which harbors other terror groups, as they have in the past.
While he was in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Pompeo said,