Small Wars Journal

Rise in U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan Clouds Outlook for Peace

Rise in U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan Clouds Outlook for Peace by Robert Burns – Associated Press

A rash of American combat deaths in Afghanistan is putting a spotlight on a stalemated 17-year war that is testing President Donald Trump’s commitment to pursuing peace with the Taliban.

Trump has acknowledged that his original instinct was to withdraw from Afghanistan, but last week he suggested he is willing to stick it out, asserting that the U.S. is in “very strong negotiations” — an apparent reference to U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s efforts to get the Taliban to agree to peace talks.

On the other hand, Trump indicated he had little confidence the talks are going to succeed. “Maybe they’re not. Probably they’re not,” he said.

The human cost of the conflict rarely makes headlines in the U.S., leaving Trump with political room to maneuver. But that might be changing…

Read on.