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Taliban can’t wait out US-led coalition, says Miller

Taliban can’t wait out US-led coalition, says Miller

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Sep 30, 2018 - 11:11

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon could not wait out the US-led coalition forces, the new commander of NATOinfo-icon forces in Afghanistaninfo-icon says.

NATO and coalition forces were in for the long haul, Gen. Austin S. Miller was quoted as saying in statement from the Department of Defense.

Ahead of the NATO Military Committee meeting in Warsaw,

Miller said the smart option was reconciliation between the government and the Taliban.

“The war has continued for 17 years. NATO and coalition forces are in for the long haul, and the Taliban cannot hope to wait out the coalition.”

Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist outfits had no place in a new Afghanistan, the commander said, adding Afghan and NATO forces were trying to erase their ideology.

Coalition troops in Afghanistan needed to remember why they were there, Miller said, adding their objective to protect their own citizens and families.

“Each nation has its own objectives, and then there are NATO objectives. So you get a lot of different answers when you speak to the troops. But it all comes down to protecting the citizens at home.”

The events that triggered military actions in Afghanistan occurred 17 years ago, he recalled. Dome of the coalition soldiers in Afghanistan were a year old when Al-Qaeda killed 3,000 people in America.

They have no direct memories of the planes crashing into the Worldinfo-icon Trade Center in New York, or an aircraft slamming into the Pentagon, according to Miller.

Al-Qaeda had safe haven in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in 2001. The Taliban government protected Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants as they planned the 9/11attacks.

NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the only time in its history, as the nations of the alliance came to the aid of America. Article 5 states that an attack on one member nation is an attack on all.

Over the past 17 years, more than 1,100 NATO and coalition troops have lost their lives combating terrorism in Afghanistan. And this is not just an American conflict or problem.

Ungoverned or loosely governed areas in the country attract terror groups, using the money raised from taxing areas they occupy.

The Taliban and others, he alleged, used money from illegal activities such as the drug trade to finance their attacks. They use these safe havens to train new terrorists.

Miller, who took charge as NATO commander in Afghanistan on Sept. 2, reminded coalition troops they were making their own countries safer and protecting their fellow citizens.

pr/mud

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