U.S. President Donald Trump is sending his national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan to discuss stabilization of the country in the wake of threats posed by a resurgent Taliban and the expanding footprint of the Islamic State in provinces bordering Pakistan.
” I’m also sending General McMaster to Afghanistan to find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners and NATO allies,” Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Gen McMaster would be the first high-level Trump administration official to visit Kabul.
While McMaster, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, will also discuss the expanding Chinese footprint in the Af-Pak region.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called NATO’s mission in Afghanistan one of the key cooperation in fight against the international terrorism.
” we launched NATO’s biggest military operation ever, in Afghanistan.
Hundreds of thousands of Europeans and Canadian soldiers have served shoulder-to-shoulder with American troops. More than a thousand have paid the ultimate price.
Earlier today, I laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, in tribute to the fallen. It was a deeply moving experience.
We owe it to our servicemen and women to preserve the hard-earned gains we have made together in Afghanistan.
We were reminded of their sacrifice just this week, when a US soldier was killed there fighting ISIL, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
The situation in Afghanistan is far from a stalemate. There are about 8,400 US troops there, along with 5,000 from NATO allies.
By Zack Arya