Acting Pentagon head on first Afghan trip

Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad approaches the microphone to speak on the prospects for peace Friday Feb. 8 2019 at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington

U.S. Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is lead an interagency delegation to Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan and Pakistan from February 10 to 28, U.S. State Department said in a statement on Sunday.

Shanahan said in late January that he saw "some very encouraging possibilities" in Khalilzad's negotiations with the Taliban.

But he stressed that peace terms are for the Afghans to decide. Washington is trying to break that impasse. "It is important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan", he added.

"Both sides said that the peace process and the fight against terrorism will continue, and the military and security alliance between Afghanistan and USA will continue until peace is achieved", the president's palace said in a statement after Ghani's meeting with Shanahan. Nearly half the country remains under Taliban control.

"There is sufficient time where we could reach an agreement" by that month, which is when Afghanistan is slated to hold nationwide presidential elections, Mr. Khalilzad said Friday.

US officials have told Reuters that, while no formal orders have been sent, the military is preparing for what a withdrawal of about half of the 14,000 USA troops in Afghanistan would look like.

North and South Korea to submit joint bid for 2032 Olympics
Most U.S. troops were withdrawn in 1949 but they returned the next year to fight alongside South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War. Prior to the signing, Betts paid a courtesy visit to Kang on behalf of the U.S.to brief them of the details of the agreement.

Knee sprain not serious for Celtics' Irving
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyrie Irving's right knee sprain isn't serious and expected to be day-to-day. It's unacceptable for what we did with a team of our caliber".

Bill to create separate Russian internet gets first approval
Finanz.ru also reported that local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test disconnection. Russian internet providers are working with the government to execute this temporary internet blackout.

"At the Jirga, people will hold discussions on the nature of the peace talks and the post-peace government in Afghanistan", said Ghani.

Of course, as a strategist with foresight, President Trump doesn't have to repeat the same past mistakes on Afghanistan.

Shanahan took over as acting secretary of defence on January 1 after Jim Mattis submitted his resignation in December. Shanahan had been Mattis' No. 2.

Michael Kugelman, a South Asia specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center, said Shanahan's main priority in Kabul should be to address Afghan government concerns. He said he would use this week's visit to inform his thinking and to report back to Trump.

As an Afghan citizen - who from 1979 to 2001 experienced first-hand the atrocities of the Taliban, factional infighting, and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan - I can warn that the United States would regret abandoning Afghanistan prematurely and irresponsibly again. Just last week the insurgents killed some two dozen Afghan troops in an attack on an army base in northern Kunduz province. In December, he announced the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria, citing the defeat of the ISIS terrorist group and that USA forces were no longer needed there. "Left unchecked", Votel said in his report to Congress, ISIS-Khorasan "will continue to grow as a threat to our homeland". He said IS still has a global presence. Earlier in the day, he visited an Afghan commando training site and received an update on the war from Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller, the commander of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Activision-Blizzard reportedly planning hundreds of job-cuts
Feb 13, 2019 - 10:12
In a statement to VentureBeat , however, Activision chief operating officer Coddy Johnson insists that it isn't a retreat. Infinity Ward is likely the team assigned to the task this year, and it's known for producing incredible games.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sarri has two weeks to save his job at Chelsea
Feb 13, 2019 - 08:33
The gulf between Chelsea and City yesterday showed just how far Sarri's side are from the English Premier League's best right now. You have to see before even receiving the ball. "We started well but after four minutes we conceded a goal in a stupid way".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump says China trade deal deadline could slide
Feb 13, 2019 - 07:13
China will likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA goods that it announced previous year in retaliation. The 10 percent on 200 billion goes up to 25 percent on March 1st.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ryan Wilson to miss remainder of Six Nations with knee injury
Feb 13, 2019 - 04:45
We want to be better. 'I'm so proud of the players, with the way they played and the effort they put in. First blood went to the hosts via a Greig Laidlaw penalty.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Can Apex Legends really beat Fortnite? Twitch stats suggest it can
Feb 13, 2019 - 04:28
Despite all of the heights Apex Legends has already reached, it's clear that things won't be stopping anytime soon. The game debuted in October 2016 and was mostly praised for its single-player campaign.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar enters presidential race
Feb 12, 2019 - 22:02
Klobuchar, who easily won a third-term past year , is the most prominent candidate from the Midwest to enter the race. To me, it showed a strength and a grit and a visual that stood her up against Trump right there and set her apart".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pot smokers find caged tiger in abandoned house
Feb 12, 2019 - 21:22
They called police on Monday and the major offender animal cruelty unit and animal shelter volunteers arrived on the scene. It was subdued and transported to a facility managed by BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top China releases video of Uighur musician to 'disprove his death'
Feb 12, 2019 - 20:29
Beijing faces growing worldwide pressure over its so-called "de-radicalisation" programme in its far western province. He added the Uighurs are being subjected to "torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ethics commissioner to probe Prime Minister's Office over SNC-Lavalin scandal
Feb 12, 2019 - 19:55
Since Thursday, Wilson-Raybould has refused to comment on the allegations, citing solicitor-client privilege. "We urge Mr. Trudeau moved Wilson-Raybould to the veterans affairs portfolio in January.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alliance of American Football Debuts with Strong Ratings
Feb 12, 2019 - 18:42
Now they're all continuing to play professional football again, and likely looking for a back door into the NFL once again. Despite a close game at halftime, the Hotshots beat the Salt Lake Stallions, 38-22.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Supporter Attacks Photographer at El Paso Trump Rally
Feb 12, 2019 - 16:55
Washington News Editor Eleanor Montague was at the president's rally in El Paso, Texas , on Monday with cameraman Ron Skeans . Speaking to a packed stadium that holds about 8,000 in El Paso, Trump slammed the 'dishonest media'.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hundreds of thousands in Iran mark 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution
Feb 12, 2019 - 16:26
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday laid historical claims to a number of Arabian Gulf countries without naming them. Iranians are facing mounting economic hardships which many blame on the country's clerical leaders.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Doctor hails 'miracle' baby girl in good spirits after drain ordeal
Feb 12, 2019 - 15:44
A newborn baby girl was rescued from a stormwater drain in South Africa on Monday (Feb. 11) after being stuck for several hours. The baby was found trapped inside the drain and emergency services worked to free the girl.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fitbit's New Health Tracker Is Only Available Through Employers And Health Insurers
Feb 12, 2019 - 13:42
There are two models for the Fitbit Inspire , which can be worn as a wrist band or as a clip-on like the discontinued Fitbit One. The Fitbit Inspire HR comes with heartbeat tracking among other added features.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Offset shares footage of Cardi B in delivery room
Feb 12, 2019 - 12:41
'It's because when I found out I was pregnant, my album wasn't complete, I had three songs done. Cardi beat out fellow nominees Travis Scott Pusha T , Nipsey Hussle and the late Mac Miller .