‘Trump didn’t consult with me’: Centcom head warns Senate about post-withdrawal threat in Syria

The US Senate has passed a bill, opposing President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria. The non-binding vote was held after the top US military commander, Joseph Votel, said the president did not consult him on the pullout. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9nrz

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17 Years Since 9/11 And There’s Still No Clear End To The War In Afghanistan (HBO)

As Americans mark the anniversary of 9/11, the war that was launched in response to those attacks shows no sign of ending.

Seventeen years later, American troops are still fighting and dying, civilian casualties are at record highs, and the Taliban now controls more territory than at any point since 2001.

Earlier this month, a new American general took control of the effort — the ninth change of command in what is now the longest war the United States has ever fought.

Outgoing U.S. commander General John Nicholson had a simple message as he handed over reigns to his successor after being in command for the last two years: “It’s time for the war in Afghanistan to end.”

But how the war might actually end remains anyone’s guess. The Trump administration appears to be looking for way to get out — and pinning its hopes on encouraging peace talks between the two sides. In July, a high-level State Department official met with Taliban leaders at their headquarters in Doha, the militants said, to encourage them to come to the table.

“Nearly all of these conflicts won’t be solved militarily, the military aspect of it has to apply pressure, has to get people to the table and ultimately its a political solution that’s got to take hold here,” General Joseph Votel, commander of United States Central Command, told VICE News.

Votel pushed back against critics who view negotiating with the Taliban as some sort of defeat.

“I don’t look at it that way,” Votel said. “That’s what the object of the strategy is, it’s to get that reconciliation and reconciliation can only be done by talking — so we’ve got to get to that. I don’t see that as a defeat at all.”

But for the moment, the Taliban don’t seem very interested in reconciliation.

Four weeks ago, fighters scored their biggest victory in years, overrunning the city of Ghazni, less than a hundred miles from Kabul, and killing dozens of Afghan soldiers and police officers in the process.

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‘Know your place!’: Erdogan on US official’s reaction to failed coup aftermath

President Erdogan once again slammed the US for harboring Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, and demanded his extradition. He also lashed out at the head of US Central Command, General Joseph Votel, who has criticized the detention of thousands of Turkish military personnel in the aftermath of the coup attempt .

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