U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) Base in Logar province, Afghanistan on August 7, 2018. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani/File Photo)
MUSCAT/KABUL (Reuters) - Even before any peace push-related drawdowns, the U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan as part of an efficiency drive by the new commander, a U.S. general told Reuters on Friday, estimating the cuts may exceed 1,000 forces.
Taliban representatives and an Afghan delegation led by former President Hamid Karzai have held a second and final day of talks in Moscow, with the militants continuing to insist upon the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan as a first step in the peace process.
Afghans clean a broken window of a destroyed house after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. A Taliban suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle in the capital Kabul on Monday evening, according to officials. (Associated Press/Rahmat Gul)
An official of the Taliban militant group, which now reportedly controls nearly half of Afghanistan, says the militant group is not seeking to rule Afghanistan alone in any future government structure and wants to co-exist with current institutions.
Seventeen years after the U.S. military-led invasion of Afghanistan — after the deaths of more than 2,400 American troops, tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers and police and untold numbers of civilians — the prospect of a truce with the Taliban appears to be inching closer to reality.
U.S. troops walk from a Chinook helicopter in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan July 7, 2017. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)
KABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Taliban officials said U.S. negotiators on Saturday agreed a draft peace deal stipulating the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan within 18 months of the agreement being signed.