Washington: The US state department has said that a military strategy may not "necessarily" yield results in Afghanistan and a permanent solution to the conflict can be found through peace talks with the Taliban and other parties involved.
Afghanistan has been battling insurgency for more a decade. The Taliban offensive against the West-backed government in the country increased this summer. Two days ago, a Taliban suicide bombing killed at least 26 people in Kabul.
This was the third major attack in the last two months.
The comments by the state department came ahead of a review of the Afghan war strategy by the Trump administration.
On Monday, top US lawmakers criticised the administration for lacking a "compelling" strategy to fight terrorists in the region. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it was "disgraceful" that the US has no strategy to end the conflict in Afghanistan.
Reports have said that the United States could be exploring ways to harden its approach towards Pakistan-based militants who often launch attacks in war-torn Afghanistan.
State department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "feels very strongly" about continuing the peace process. "That means actually sitting down and talking with members of the Taliban and starting to facilitate that kind of dialogue," Nauert said.
"Ultimately, like in many situations in many other countries, military options or our military strategy is not necessarily going to win those countries and put peace back together ...in the long run, you have to bring both sides to the table or multiple sides to the table together to determine their future," she told reporters on Tuesday.
But this does not mean discounting the military option, she said. "Of course, the military option is a piece of it."
The Taliban has become more dangerous and more deadly and has been involved in the kinds of attacks that perhaps previously they have not been involved with, she said.
Nauert said it is premature to say that the department is optimistic about the peace process with the Taliban. "Until then, we will continue to support our Afghan partners."
The state department spokesperson refuted reports that the Trump administration has shut the Office of the Special Representatives for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"There's been a lot of reporting on that. Those functions will still remain here at the State Department," she said.
Published Date: Jul 26, 2017 11:02 am | Updated Date: Jul 26, 2017 11:02 am