The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said Wednesday it is too early to talk about a full American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Military Times reported.
Mr. Dunford said the Afghan forces are not yet able to secure the country without help from allied forces.
“I’m not using the withdraw word right now,” he said. “It’s our judgment that the Afghans need support to deal with the level of violence” in the country today.
This comes amid ongoing talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha which will continue for the ninth day on Thursday.
A Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said that this round of the US-Taliban talks has not ended and that the negotiations will resume on Thursday afternoon.
The US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan and is advising and assisting Afghan defense forces and combating insurgents’ groups.
US President Donald Trump has campaigned on getting the US out of the war, but efforts to withdraw American troops have been slowed because military leaders argue that there is still a need for US counterterrorism forces as well as the ongoing campaign to train the Afghan troops.