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McMaster insists on US’s continued support to Afghan government

KABUL (TOLOnews): McMaster, former US national security adviser said President Trump partnered with the Taliban ahead of this month’s peace negotiations in Doha but insisted on continued support of Washington to the Afghan government.

He expressed the remarks in an interview about his new book on the 53rd Season Premiere of 60 Minutes on Sunday and was quoted in a report by CBS News.

The opening ceremony of the intra-Afghan negotiations was held in Doha on September 12 with the hope to find a political settlement to decades of conflicts in Afghanistan. TOLOnews reporter Karim Amini said on Friday that the “contact groups” of the negotiating teams of Afghan republic and the Taliban did not held a meeting on Thursday, September 17, and that they will probably hold no meeting on Friday.

McMaster said withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and partnering with the Taliban has made the United States less safe.

“I think what [President Trump] did with this new policy, is he, in effect, is partnering with the Taliban against, in many ways, the Afghan government. And so, I think that it’s an unwise policy. And I think what we require in Afghanistan is a sustained commitment to help the Afghan government,” McMaster said as quoted by CBS News.

Based on the US-Taliban agreement signed on February 29 in Doha, the US agreed to leave Afghanistan within 18 months.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said Washington is looking to completely withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by spring 2021. Pompeo said the unmilitary is on pace to uphold a February 29 agreement with the Taliban that aims to reduce American troops in the country to zero by April or May of 2021, according to interviews with Breitbart News. Pompeo however clarified that a complete drawdown is conditioned to Taliban’s complete termination of ties with the terror groups.

McMaster called the drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan a big mistake and writes in the book, “Battlegrounds,” that the region is a hotbed of terrorism, according to CBS report.

“Terrorist organizations who pose a threat to us are stronger now than they were on September 10, 2001. Those who perpetrated the mass murder attacks of 9/11 were the mujahideen-era alumni of the resistance to Soviet occupation in Afghanistan,” McMaster said as quoted by CBS. “Today, we are facing an Al-Qaeda and an ISIS alumni that is orders of magnitude greater than that mujahideen-era alumni ever was. And they also have access to much more destructive capabilities.”

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