US general says political outcome in Afghanistan "inevitable"
The top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan has said that a political solution to the Afghan conflict is "inevitable" and hinted that peace negotiations with the Taliban may be the way forward, according to a report published Monday.
There had been "enough fighting" and he hoped that an international conference on Afghanistan in London later this week would produce a "new commitment" to the "right outcome" for the people of Afghanistan, US general Stanley McChrystal said, DPA reported.
"I believe that a political solution to all conflicts is the inevitable outcome. And it's the right outcome," McChrystal, who is commander of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, said in an interview with the Financial Times.
He said he believed the troop surge of an extra 30,000 US soldiers would weaken the Taliban sufficiently to force them to agree to a peace deal, he said.
"It's not my job to extend olive branches, but it is my job to help set conditions where people in the right positions can have options on the way forward," said the general.
But he hoped that the London conference would lead to a "new commitment, and that commitment is to the right outcome for the Afghan people."
"As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there's been enough fighting," McChrystal said.