Pentagon Secretary has blamed the Taliban for jeopardizing the Afgan peace process by not sticking to its commitments. The US and Taliban signed the historic agreement on February 29, 2020, which called for a full withdrawal of the US troops from Afganistan by May 2021 if the militant group meets the conditions of the deal, including severing ties with other terrorist organizations.
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However recent reports have suggested that the Taliban have been attacking Afgan security forces and trying to occupy more territory. Having taken account of the Taliban's recent activities, the Pentagon on Thursday stated that, "The Taliban have not met their commitments. Without them meeting their commitments to renounce terrorism and to stop the violent attacks on the Afghan National Security Forces, and by dint of that the Afghan people, it's very hard to see a specific way forward for the negotiated settlement".
In addition to this, he said, "But we're still committed to that, there's no question about that... We need to find a reasonable, rational end to this war, and that it's got to be done through a negotiated settlement that includes the Afghan government". In response to this a Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem told Afghan media that the group remains committed to the agreement "and we call on the other side to stay firm on its commitments".
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During Thursday's briefing when Kirby was asked about the Biden administration's present stand on the agreement, he said the "goal" was to reach the May deadline for the withdrawal of troops."We're going to be making our decisions in a sober, rational manner that is driven by what's in our best interests and the interests of our partners in Afghanistan, as well as our NATO partners and allies," he added.
The war in Afghanistan, which has caused about 2,400 US military deaths, is the longest one in American history. Former President Donald Trump had sought a full withdrawal of forces from the country, but some of his senior aides from the military and the Pentagon suggested a more cautious approach. Currently, there are about 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan.