Outgoing US commander: Time for war in Afghanistan to end

Outgoing US commander: Time for war in Afghanistan to end
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Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan for the last 31 months, urged all sides to bring an end to the war there as he departed his post, The New York Times reported Sunday.

“It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” Nicholson said, reportedly urging the Taliban to "stop killing your fellow Afghans."

“Whose voices are important?” he added, referencing other regional powers involved in the war. “The outsiders who are encouraging you to fight, or the voices of your own people who are encouraging you to peace?”


Nicholson's outgoing calls for peace on all sides come as President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE has seen little tangible progress in Afghanistan a year after announcing U.S. troops would remain in the country.

The Times reported that Nicholson did not meet a single time with Trump in the 20 months since the president was inaugurated.

While the warring sides in Afghanistan agreed to a three-day ceasefire earlier this year, territory has not changed hands and civilian deaths are hitting all-time highs in the war that has now gone on for 17 years.

After campaigning on a promise to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, Trump announced on Aug. 21, 2017, that American forces would remain in the country. He also eliminated a timetable for withdrawal, and loosened some rules of engagement.