US Hitting Taliban Harder Than Ever

Trump attends a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Oct. 5 2017

Two Taliban vehicle bombs shook Kabul last week, killing several civilians and two members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission. Trump was to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior Taliban leaders on Sunday at his Camp David retreat.

US President Donald Trump speaking outside the Pentagon on Wednesday morning to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks said the US is hitting the Taliban "harder than they have ever been hit before".

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack.

The decision to hold the talks, as well as to pull out of them, was ultimately made by Trump, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

14,000 U.S. troops remain in the country, a situation which has angered President Donald Trump. "We are hitting the Taliban harder than they've ever been hit".

"They struck us in the heart of our biggest city, they struck the Pentagon, they would've struck the White House or the Capitol building but for the civilian heroes that brought a third plane down in the middle of Pennsylvania", he said. "No enemy on earth can match the overwhelming strength, skill, and might of the American armed forces".

The announcement angered some, coming so close to the 11 September 2001 anniversary.

"We have 14,000 soldiers [in Afghanistan] and they have prevented another 9/11", the "Life, Liberty & Levin" host said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and his predecessors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani were among those who attended.

"We had two ways to end the occupation in Afghanistan". "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.

The number of USA troops peaked at around 100,000 but began to drop steadily after Bin Laden was killed in 2011.

Ending talks was meant to send a message that the Taliban can not use violence to improve its negotiating position, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

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