The U.S. diplomatic spokesperson acknowledged that “all recent indications, at least, suggest the Taliban are… pursuing a battlefield victory” in Afghanistan, adding: “This is not a foregone conclusion, as many people seem to think, that this will be an inexorable march forward for the Taliban or any other force”. He went on assert: “The government in Afghanistan has tools at its disposal, has political support, continues to receive support from the U.S. to its security sector, and has the wherewithal, certainly on paper, to defend its country. Right now what we see is an issue of leadership. It’s both political and military leadership. We need to see Afghans’ leaders united”. The spokesperson went on to maintain that “what we are supporting is a political settlement, is a diplomatic solution to this that in the first instance is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led but ultimately can lead to a diminution of the violence, a ceasefire, and a durable political outcome going forward”.
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