US military says its role in Afghanistan after peace would be conditions-based

Any US military role in Afghanistan after peace would be conditions-based, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Tuesday.

“Any US military, coalition role after the peace is reached would be conditions-based worked out with the Afghan government depending on the threat,” Mattis said during a discussion at the US Institute of Peace.

According to Mattis, the new US strategy on Afghanistan announced last year is working.

The secretary praised Afghan forces for preventing the Taliban from taking and holding districts and provincial centers.

“The Afghan lads are doing the fighting, just look at the casualties…over 1,000 dead and wounded in August and September, and they stayed in the field fighting,” Mattis said. “The Taliban has been prevented from doing what they said they were going to do which was to take and hold district and provincial centers, also disrupt an election that they were unable to disrupt.”

Referring to peace, Mattis noted that the US appointed “force of nature” Zalmay Khalilzad who he said was working hard on it.