President Trump warned on Wednesday that "an unprecedented" USA military assault against the Taliban will continue. For Mr. Trump, this is a major election promise that he would like to fulfill before the next election.
Before the tweet, no one outside Trump's immediate circle was aware of the development. "Afghanistan is poised to renew its commitment to an order which ensures a democratically elected government is at the heart of any process to determine a peaceful settlement of its issues", he said.
On Sept 2 when Mr Khalilzad told the Afghan TOLOnews that a peace agreement had been reached "in principle" with the Afghan Taliban, an explosives-laden tractor exploded in a housing compound used by various worldwide organisations, killing 16 and wounding 19 others. Some reports said ambulance sirens could be heard in the area around the embassy.
He said: "What they did was awful, they killed an American soldier".
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
"Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless", said Afghan President Ghani in a statement. He accused the Afghan Taliban of stepping up attacks in order to "build false leverage" and "strengthen their bargaining position".
"I'm frankly relieved because I think all of the signs were that the Taliban was not serious about an agreement that was acceptable to us", she said, adding that the Taliban was unlikely to make "guarantees" about keeping terrorists out of the country.
His abrupt decision to cancel peace talks with the Taliban was followed by the sacking of his controversial national security advisor John Bolton on Tuesday. A provisional agreement to remove several thousand was reached between the U.S. and Taliban in August. "The partial ceasefire was to be limited to the foreign forces in Afghanistan", he said. However Khalilzad said final approval still rested with Trump. "The support and safe havens enjoyed from beyond Afghanistan's borders by groups such as the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Daesh [Islamic State], as well as Al Qaeda and its proscribed affiliates, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, must be addressed", he said. As part of the proposed deal, the U.S. would withdraw 5,400 troops from Afghanistan within 20 weeks. The US now has about 14,000 troops in the country.
"The global community needs to continue its support by fulfilling the commitments made to the Afghan security forces in their fight against the scourge of terrorism", he said.
About 14,000 USA soldiers remain in the country and Trump has called their ongoing deployment "ridiculous", including the many billions of dollars spent in the war.
For American troops stationed in Afghanistan, unfortunately, even if there is an eventual withdrawal, the prognosis in the very short-term can only be further escalation.
Secretary Pompeo appeared to confirm the Taliban's assertion. The talks were to take place at Camp David. "We had peace talks scheduled". The Taliban spokesman said exchanges were still being made through emails and WhatsApp.