From the State Department:
On Sunday, Secretary of State Pompeo appeared on the Sunday Shows to discuss President Trump’s decision to suspend talks with the Taliban in order to put America’s security first.
After 18 years of war, Secretary Pompeo recommitted to the President’s goal of achieving peace in Afghanistan and bringing our troops home only if negotiations are met in good faith. For now, that is not the case.
We recognize the extraordinary sacrifices of the American people that have contributed towards peace and security in Afghanistan over the past 18 years, including thousands of Americans who sacrificed their lives or sustained injuries in this effort.
It’s important to recall how we got here. All sides agree that there is no military solution in Afghanistan. We never wanted a permanent military presence in Afghanistan. That is why the President directed us to see if we could facilitate a negotiated settlement to end the war.
If we reach a deal in the future, we will robustly monitor and verify Taliban adherence to their commitments. And of course we will never give up our ability to protect American interests.
It is wrong to say our effort has excluded the government. The goal is for all parties in Afghanistan to eventually enter into substantive negotiations, including opposition politicians and civil society leaders, in order to reach a political settlement.
Over the last ten days, we have killed over 1,000 Taliban so we are not negotiating with our hands tied behind our back. Applying military pressure to the Taliban is necessary to get the negotiated outcome that we are looking for.
It is up to the Afghan parties to agree to end hostilities, and after decades of brutal fighting, the negotiations will not be easy. We are not abandoning Afghanistan, or our investment and legacy.
After nearly two decades of war, the Trump Administration recommitted efforts to the President’s goal of achieving peace in Afghanistan and bringing our troops home, only if negotiations were met in good faith. For now, that is not the case.
While this isn’t a war of attrition, the American people should know we will continue to apply the appropriate pressure to make sure we are never struck with terror again. The Trump Administration’s foremost interest is protecting American national interests.
The Trump Administration’s position has always been to negotiate a resolution that allows America to have less risk to our young men and women in harm’s way. President Trump is constantly looking for ways to reduce that risk.
Despite negotiations being put on hold, the Trump Administration gained concessions from the Taliban that were not previously given. Those included:
The Taliban breaking away from Al Qaeda publicly and permanently
A reduction of violence
Negotiating directly with representatives of the Afghanistan government.