Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, who is set to become the next head of U.S. Central Command, has told U.S. lawmakers that Pakistan could play a key role in facilitating talks between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan.
However, he believes that Pakistan has not used the full extent of its influence over the Taliban to encourage the insurgent group to come to the negotiation table.
McKenzie says the U.S. long-term presence in Afghanistan is a need in order to support Afghan forces in the fight against terrorists.
According to the top U.S. commander, it would be difficult for the Afghan security forces to survive without U.S. and NATO forces.
“I do not believe they would be able to successfully defend their country,” he said. But he confirmed that Afghan security forces are in a better shape compared to the past.