The top U.S. Army commander in Afghanistan has said that the new U.S. strategy for the war-wracked country shows the country's commitment to a stable Afghanistan.
"We will not fail in Afghanistan, our national security depends on that as well," General John Nicholson told reporters in Kabul on August 24.
Nicholson called on the resurgent Taliban to agree to peace talks, saying they "cannot win on the battlefield, it's time for them to join the peace process."
In reaction, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group’s militants will fight “until the last U.S. soldier is no longer here in Afghanistan."
Nicholson also vowed to "crush" the Islamic State group affiliate in the country, saying that "we will pursue them wherever else they choose to make their stand."
The U.S. general said the United States and its NATO allies will expand training for Afghan security forces as part of the Resolute Support mission, and spoke of expanding the Afghan air force and special forces.
Nicholson's press conference comes two days after U.S. President Donald Trump backtracked from his campaign pledge to end the United States' longest war.
Outlining a new strategy for Afghanistan, he appeared to commit the country to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan, without providing any specifics about troop numbers or timelines.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference on August 24 that Moscow believes that the new U.S. strategy is based mainly on military force and has "no prospects" for success.
Based on reporting by AP, dpa, Reuters, and TASS