NPR

'The Taliban Can't Win,' Says Commander Of U.S. Forces In Afghanistan

In a wide-ranging interview,
U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that the war in Afghanistan was at a "stalemate." Source: Alex Wong

Gen. John W. "Mick" Nicholson settles into his wood-paneled office inside the American-led military headquarters in Kabul. It's lined with plaques, pictures and ceremonial swords.

He has spent more time in Afghanistan, in various jobs, than any other senior American officer — a total of 5 1/2 years. The commander of NATO's Resolute Support mission and U.S. forces in Afghanistan since March 2016, Nicholson is a genial West Point graduate with salt-and-pepper hair — and a renewed confidence.

That is because the White House has given him more authority to attack the Taliban, more warplanes and drones to mount punishing airstrikes — and a few thousand more American troops to advise the Afghans.

Just eight months ago, Nicholson told Congress that the Afghan fight was at a stalemate.

Now, he tells NPR, "With the policy decision announced by President Trump, the Taliban can't win. It sets the conditions to get to a peaceful resolution of this

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