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    U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistan (File)

    Will the Taliban Be Able to Turn Afghanistan in 'Another US Graveyard'?

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    A day after President Trump revealed his renewed strategy for Afghanistan, committing a larger military presence and increasing the number of troops, the Taliban threatened to turn the country "in another graveyard" for the US. Sputnik Afghanistan talked to Afghan experts about how viable this threat is.

    On Tuesday, Afghan media reported that the Taliban had issued a new threat to the US after President Trump revealed his renewed strategy for this country.

    "If America doesn’t withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century," the media quoted Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan, as saying in a statement.

    He added that America should think of an exit strategy "instead of continuing the war."

    "As long as there is one US soldier in our land, and they continue to impose war on us, we, with a high morale will continue our jihad," Mujahid said.

    Sputnik Afghanistan talked to Afghan experts about how serious the Taliban is about confronting the US, as Donald Trump promised to make every effort to prevent the Taliban from taking over in Afghanistan.

    "The Taliban is alarmed about Washington's new strategy for Afghanistan. It is scared. Such a reaction to the US statements is aimed at raising its martial spirit and morale. However the Taliban will never win in Afghanistan," Lt. Gen. Abdul Hadi Khalid, military advisor for Afghanistan's Ministry of the Interior, told Sputnik.

    Besides its commitment to the US' longest war, President Trump also said that another "fundamental pillar of the renewed strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power: diplomatic, economic and military toward a successful outcome."

    "Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Nobody knows if or when that will ever happen," US President Donald Trump said on Monday in Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia while revealing the renewed strategy.

    However, he added, the US will continue its support for the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field.

    "With regard to any possible negotiations with the Taliban, it should be noted that there are people among this movement who understand that the war is not the tool to problem solving and they should sit at the negotiation table," Lt. Gen. Abdul Hadi Khalid told Sputnik.

    "Afghanistan fell victim to the Cold War. World powers such as Russia should help it to settle peace," he concluded.

    Abbas Naviyan, member of the board of Afghanistan's Right and Justice Party, also pointed out that the new US strategy for Afghanistan contains a clear appeal to the Taliban: sit down at the negotiation table. The US is a superpower, he said, and the Taliban is unable to fight against it.

    "Previously, the Taliban was able to confront the US due to the support of Pakistan. If the US is successful with its strategy and forces Pakistan to stop its support of the Taliban, this movement will cease its rebellion not only against the US, but also against armed forces of the Afghan government," he told Sputnik.

    In his address on Monday, President Trump specifically pointed out that Pakistan "always gives safe heaven to agents of chaos, violence and terror."

    "We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," the US leader said.

    The threat is worse, he added, because Pakistan and India are two nuclear states, whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict.  So, the next pillar of the US strategy is to change its approach on how to deal with Pakistan, Donald Trump stated.

    Tags:
    War in Afghanistan, Taliban, Abbas Naviyan, Abdul Hadi Khalid, Donald Trump, Afghanistan, United States
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