United States prepares to step up strikes on Taliban after Trump halts talks

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar the Taliban's top political leader third from left arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow Russia. — AP

"Afghanistan situation has entered a key juncture", Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters here, responding to a question on the cancellation of the talks between the United States and the Taliban. "We would beat them very easily militarily if we wanted to by doing certain things and I'm not talking nuclear", Trump said.

"As far as I am concerned, they are dead", Trump told reporters at the White House.

"If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it", he said. "Over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!"

Two days prior, he abruptly announced he was cancelling secret meetings at Camp David with the Taliban and the Afghan president, ending months of U.S. negotiations with Taliban leaders - who control large parts of the country.

US and Taliban representatives spent months negotiating peace and American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The American death brought to at least 16 the number of USA military killed in action in Afghanistan this year, just as Washington is seeking a way out of its longest war.

Trump stunned the world on Saturday when he announced the cancellation of a secret meeting with Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Now as many scramble to comprehend the breakdown in the peace process, some are pleading for stability in a country with little of it. "We have to have proof that it's delivered", he said.

The Taliban had stepped up attacks even as the talks were taking place in recent weeks.

It came after the Taliban claimed responsibility of an attack in Kabul last week, in which an American soldier were among the 12 dead.

Trump's move puzzled observers, who pointed out that both the Taliban and US and Afghan forces have increased fighting in recent months to strengthen their position in the talks. "I am confident President Trump will continue the process of [reconciliation]". "I would never tell you".

A big part of Trump's 2016 election victory and subsequent first term in office has been his determination to keep the USA out of what he sees as unnecessary wars in Syria and other mostly Muslim countries. How many more decades are they willing to fight?

"They're dead. They're dead".

President Trump, Pompeo said, was focused on two main objectives: reduction of risk and cost levels for America and peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Several Republican lawmakers concurred with the president's decision on the talks.

The Taliban continued their own campaign of indiscriminate bombing through talks and warned that Mr Trump's cancellation of negotiations would lead to more bloodshed. "I'm not going to work with someone that can't deliver on their commitments'".

The Taliban responded to Trump's decision by saying in a statement on September 8 that the decision would "harm the United States more than anyone else and will undermine its credibility".

"So many people have forgotten the sacrifices and the price paid on 9/11", he said.

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