Washington, July 18 (ANI): The outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, does not see a grand bargain with Taliban leader Mullah Omar to stop the fighting, but said that the Afghan government can win over individual Taliban leaders.
Crocker, who recently secured a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan, sees every chance for American forces presence on Afghan soil to advise and assist the country post-2014 withdrawal of combat troops, reports The Nation.
Crocker said it was essential for NATO countries to continue financing Afghanistan's security forces. However, he is skeptical about the prospects for a broad peace agreement with the Taliban, despite U.S. efforts to engage them over the last year, the paper said.
There will be no negotiated deal with Mullah Omar. It wouldn't work here. You have a fractured, divided Taliban, he said, adding that he also doubts that the Haqqani faction of the Taliban, which is fighting U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan, will ever reconcile.
We will have to find ways to kill as many Haqqanis as we can, he said.
The 63-year-old Crocker will retire this month due to health reasons, leaving Kabul in a crucial period of transition as the U.S. prepares to withdraw most of its troops by the end of 2014. (ANI)