U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. (REUTERS/Erin Scott)
KABUL (Reuters) - The top U.S. general said on Wednesday that the chances of a successful outcome from peace talks on ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan were higher than before and could happen in the "near term."
Earlier this month the Afghan Taliban released American and Australian university professors held hostage for more than three years, raising hopes for a revival of peace talks.
The chances of successful peace talks are complicated by the Taliban's refusal to engage with what they call an "illegitimate" U.S.-backed government in Kabul.
Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill/U.S. Army National Guard
President Donald Trump has officially nominated Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to take over as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Tuesday.
Recruits take the oath of enlistment before a NFL game in Arizona, November 2018. Photo: Alun Thomas/U.S. Army Recruiting
Army Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that some schools "are not letting our recruiters in" to talk to students, and some school counselors "are not even presenting [the Army] as an opportunity, the chance to serve their country."