Pentagon spokesman says US hasn’t lost leverage over Taliban despite withdrawal

Pentagon spokesman says US hasn’t lost leverage over Taliban despite withdrawal


A Pentagon spokesman insisted Sunday the hurried US pullout from Afghanistan won’t cost the country leverage with the Taliban — but a Republican congressman who fought in the war-torn country called the withdrawal a “crushing defeat.”

John Kirby was asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether the Afghan government has lost its biggest bargaining chip in peace talks with the Taliban because of the US’ hasty exit, marked by the overnight retreat from Bagram Airfield last week that allowed looters to cart away American equipment.

“You had this argument that somehow if you have boots on the ground all of a sudden you have all this leverage has not panned out the last five, 10, 15 years, Chris, when we had 100,000 troops on the ground. So the idea that if you have boots on the ground all of a sudden that gives you leverage has not exactly been the historical record so far,” Kirby told host Chris Wallace.

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He went on

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