Former Defense Secretary Mattis Says Trust is Question in Taliban Talks
WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Defense Secretary James Mattis says that when it comes to trying to negotiate an Afghanistan peace deal with the Taliban, the key question is whether or not they can be trusted.
Mattis cites past U.S. nuclear talks with the Russians, when the American side talked about “trust but verify.”
He tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “I think you want to verify, then trust” in dealing with the Taliban.
Mattis says the U.S. since the Bush administration, has “demanded that they break with al-Qaida” but “they’ve refused to do so.” He also says “we should never forget” that they were behind the Sept. 11 attacks.
President Donald Trump says he was set this weekend to meet at Camp David with leaders of the Taliban. But Trump says he called off that meeting, and a separate one with Afghanistan’s president, after a Taliban bombing that killed an American soldier and 11 other people.