A series of attacks by Taliban insurgents on Afghan police officers and military personnel continued on September 10, with seven police officers and 13 soldiers being killed in four attacks on six outposts in the Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz Province in northern Afghanistan.
On September 9, Taliban fighters killed 40 members of the Afghan security forces at a military base in the northern province of Baghlan and another 19 police officers and soldiers in Wardak and Herat Provinces. On the same day, seven people were killed in Kabul as a suicide bomber attacked a commemoration marking the 17th anniversary of the killing of Ahmad Shah Masoud, who led the resistance against the Taliban in the late 1990s and was killed by suicide bombers two days before the September 11 attacks in the United States.
The U.S. command in Afghanistan announced on September 7 that Defense Secretary James Mattis had arrived in Kabul. CBS News and the AP reported that Mattis was accompanied by General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Afghan presidential spokesman Mohammad Haroon told the AP that Mattis was expected to meet President Ashraf Ghani, as well as Afghan, U.S., and NATO military commanders.
The CBS/AP report noted that as Mattis visits Kabul, the U.S. government appears to be ramping up efforts for a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan, which is now our nation’s longest military engagement.
NPR reported on September 5 that President Trump had named Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq and as UN ambassador during the administration of President George W. Bush, as a special adviser to Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Khalilzad’s appointment on September 4.
“Ambassador Khalilzad is going to join the State Department team to assist us in the reconciliation effort, so he will come on and be the State Department's lead person for that purpose,” Pompeo told reporters. Khalilzad will “be full-time focused on developing the opportunities to get the Afghans and the Taliban to come to a reconciliation.”
Khalilzad is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an organization that has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II, pushing for constant military intervention in other nations and entangling U.S. troops in a never-ending series of no-win wars.
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