Pentagon: Afghanistan Could Be Poised for Political Settlement

Despite challenges on multiple fronts, Afghanistan seems more likely than at any time in recent history to come to a favorable political settlement, according to a report released this week by the Pentagon, which cited the effects of a recent military escalation coupled with diplomatic initiatives.In a yearly assessment required by the U.S. Congress, the Pentagon this week submitted a detailed report on the war in Afghanistan to U.S. lawmakers, detailing the country's progress and challenges in fiscal year 2018-2019.General Austin S. Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanitan, met with Pakistan army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in the garrision city of Rawalpindi on Dec. 27, 2018.The new report by the Pentagon comes as the Trump administration is reportedly considering withdrawing roughly half of the 14,000 U.S. troops currently deployed to Afghanistan. No formal announcement on the potential drawdown has yet been made.U.S. troops in the country engaged in both train-and-advise missions, as part of the U.S.-led NATO Resolute Support Mission, and in counterterrorism missions against the Islamic State and al-Qaida terror groups...............

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