As U.S. and Taliban officials talked peace, the U.S. military was accelerating airstrikes in Afghanistan, with the biggest monthly tally of the year carried out in August as the negotiations were in their final stage, a new report shows.
President Donald Trump cancelled a planned Camp David meeting with the Taliban last weekend and declared the 10-month negotiations were “dead.” He cited the Sept. 5 suicide car bombing that killed an American soldier and 11 other people in Kabul.
“When the Taliban tried to gain negotiating advantage by conducting terror attacks inside of the country, President Trump made the right decision to say that’s not going to work,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday in explaining why the peace talks were scrubbed.
Throughout the negotiations, however, the U.S.-led coalition and their Afghan partners have sought to use battlefield pressure to push the Taliban into a settlement to end America’s nearly 18-year war.
Read the full story and more in Stars and Stripes.