US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrives in Kabul for unannounced visit

Published: September 27, 2017
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. PHOTO: AFP

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul Wednesday, an AFP reporter said, along with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg weeks after Donald Trump’s pledge to send more troops to the war-torn country.

Mattis is the first member of the US president’s cabinet to visit Afghanistan since the strategy announcement to keep American boots on the ground there indefinitely.

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The unnanounced high-level visit comes as Afghan security forces struggle to beat back the Taliban, which has been on the offensive since the withdrawal of US-led NATO combat troops at the end of 2014.

The resurgent militants have promised to turn Afghanistan into a ‘graveyard’ for foreign forces and have been mounting deadly attacks as they maintain control over large swathes of the country.

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US generals have for months been calling the situation in Afghanistan a ‘stalemate’, despite years of support for Afghan partners, continued help from a NATO coalition and an overall cost in fighting and reconstruction to the United States of more than $1 trillion.

The war turns 16 next month, and is America’s longest-ever conflict.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Feroz
    Sep 27, 2017 - 10:55AM

    Going to Kabul after a visit to Delhi may have something to do with the new Afghan policy of Trump. Why he is not visiting the major non NATO ally, a point to ponder. Recommend

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