Afghan fears rise of violence as US ends its longest war

Afghan fears rise as US ends its longest war
Afghan forces face losing crucial US firepower in the air. Source: TONY BROWN/BBC
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Daily US Times: The Taliban are advancing while peace talks stall. What are the chances for peace once all the US-led Nato soldiers leave? Violence is rising in the country.

The simple monument is sharp-edged and stark, a pointed block of black-veined marble memorialising a dark chapter in northern Afghanistan during a momentous history.

After decades of bloody conflict and staying in Afghanistan, the US edges closer to ending its longest war. But as the peace deal with Taliban began executing, Afghan fear rise of more violence.

Nineteen years on, after more than 110,000 Afghans killed and the deaths of more than 3,500 coalition forces, the overriding concern is averting a chaotic conclusion – as the countdown gathers pace for the gradual removal of the last US and Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Gen Scott Miller, the top US soldier in Afghanistan, who commands Nato’s Resolute Support Mission, said: “What we are trying to do is prevent any negative outcomes and keep pushing the situation back into a place where Afghanistan is not faced with civil war, or even less stability than it has now.”

The Taliban is now at their greatest strength since 2001. The militant group is advancing and attacking in districts across Afghanistan – in spite of a deal signed with the US in February which seemed to promise a respite to a nation exhausted by war and increasingly worried it will only get worse.

In a rare interview with the BBC, Gen Miller repeatedly emphasised that the violence must come down. He gave that interviews during one of his regular stops at American and Afghan military bases across the country. The top American military official is meeting military leaders and civilian charged with ensuring the best possible transition.

“I am specifically asking the Taliban to bring down the violence,” he said, adding that it can’t be one-sided; all sides need to bring it down.

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