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Taliban cannot win on battlefield: Gen. Nicholson

Taliban cannot win on battlefield: Gen. Nicholson
U.S. Army General John Nicholson, Commander of Resolute Support forces and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, speaks about the U.S. new strategy for Afghanistan during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The commander of the United States forces for Afghanistan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led Resolute Support Mission General, John Nicholson, said that the Taliban insurgent group is a criminal organisation, which cannot win on the battlefield.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday, Nicholson said “Taliban cannot win on the battlefield and it is time for the group to join peace process.”

He further said that the Afghan people want peace that the international communities are with them in this journey.

Nicholson emphasised on deploying more advisors from the U.S. and the NATO to enhance training at the military schools in a bid to grow the Afghan Air Force and the Special Forces.

“The Taliban has a simple choice: Stop fighting against your countrymen. Stop killing innocent civilians. Stop bringing hardship and misery,” he said.

He also mentioned that the new strategy by U.S. President Donald Trump is a proof of the continued commitment by the alliance to Afghanistan.

Earlier, the Taliban had sent an “open letter” to Trump, calling on the U.S. to leave Kabul rather than increase the number of troops to end America’s longest war of 17 years in Afghanistan.

Through a letter, the Taliban militants have urged Trump to interact with Afghans “generously” instead of imposing war, study the “historical mistakes” of his predecessors and withdraw troops from Afghanistan completely.

Nicholson had told the U.S. Congress in February that he needed “a few thousand” more troops in Afghanistan, mostly to help advice the Afghan security forces that are battling the Taliban and the fighters from other militant groups.

Trump has now approved an extended American presence in Afghanistan, although neither he nor his military leaders have provided any specifics about the troop numbers or timelines. (ANI)