WASHINGTON: Those questioning the lack of commitment of the United States towards Afghanistan should know that for nearly two decades, Americans lost their lives for the safety and security of Afghans, the Trump Administration said on Thursday.
“I would remind the Afghan people the countless number of tens of thousands of American lives and the lives of our NATO allies and our European allies that have been lost fighting in Afghanistan for the people of Afghanistan to have a right to choose their own future,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters at a news conference here.
She was responding to a question on the disappointment among Afghans after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s US visit and his meeting with president Donald Trump earlier this week.
“Not just the number of lives lost, but the billions of dollars that have been spent there. You could probably look at most of the people in this room that serve here at the State Department, and we have either served ourselves or we have had family members that have served. I have someone on my staff who is serving there right now,” Ortagus said.
“Afghan people, they are very disappointed and very unhappy for the latest statement from Donald Trump,” a journalist from Afghanistan said.
Ortagus differed from that viewpoint. “I think that the people of Afghanistan should know that for almost 20 years, Americans have lost their lives and spent their hard-earned taxpayer money to see the people of Afghanistan have a choice for their own future. That commitment has not been a small commitment. That has been a vast and sweeping commitment by the American people,” she asserted.
The US continues to assess the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, but has not put a timeline to the peace process.
“I do not think that we are putting a specific date in terms of peace, but obviously, that is something that the president has said since his campaign days, it is something that he is committed to,” Ortagus said. PTI