U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan, NATO mission says

Clay Curtis
August 22, 2019

The U.S. and Taliban are now in negotiations to bring an end to 18 years of fighting.

Their names were being withheld until after their relatives were identified, the statement said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on August 20 that the U.S. military role in Afghanistan had basically turned into a "ridiculous" police force.

He said the United States is "negotiating - we'll see what happens", but that the Taliban could stop unrest in the region "very easily".

Two U.S. service members were killed on Wednesday, joining more than 2,400 U.S. service personnel who have died since the U.S. -led invasion in 2001 to topple the Taliban, whose government had harbored al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday in Afghanistan, military officials said, continuing what has become the deadliest year for troops in that country since the formal drawdown of combat operations in 2014.

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However, he acknowledged that a small number of troops will have to remain.

Trump said the USA is "bringing some of our troops back but we have to have a presence".

President Ashraf Ghani who is seeking reelection in September said on Thursday the Afghan government would be present in any potential peace negotiations with the Taliban as they move to another phase of the process. 'It is a risky place and we have to keep an eye on it'. Earlier this month, the group claimed responsibility for a bombing that injured 100 people and killed 18.

The attack renewed concerns that the growing threat by the ISIS affiliate will mean little peace for Afghan civilians.

Trump this week also said Afghanistan remains risky and "we have to have a presence" - a stance that could complicate talks with the Taliban, whose top demand has been the departure of all USA and allied troops, which number close to 20,000.

'We're ready. Let's see if the Taliban are as well, ' Khalilzad wrote on Twitter as he headed to Doha.

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