Transcript for Top US general: Political talks with Taliban are ‘positive’
tonight to an ABC news exclusive. On the eve of the state of the union, we are just back tonight from Afghanistan. Our interview with the U.S. Commander in America’s longest war, on talks with the Taliban. Is there an end game in sight? Will some of the 14,000 U.S. Troops be coming home? We are one on one tonight with general Scott Miller who gave us rare access to what American special forces are doing to help the after begans fight the Taliban. Tonight, right here, images of this assault on the Taliban just weeks ago. Their hands in the air. And what was discovered at that site. Overnight, president trump said of Afghanistan, he wanted to bring U.S. Troops home. Tonight, our trip, our interview with the four-star general leading the fight. We board a black hawk helicopter waiting for us in kabul, Afghanistan, with the top U.S. Commander, four-star general Scott Miller who has taken over here at a pivotal moment in America’s longest war. He was one of the first deployed here after 9/11. Did you ever think that right after 9/11 when you were here that you’d be here all these years later as commander? Absolutely not. I didn’t think it’d be 17, 18 years later. Reporter: General Miller is flying us over the mountains south of kabul. He is about to show us what could be a crucial part of any possible end game here. We land and are taken to camp commando, where special forces are at work. The Afghan forces training with American eyes watching. Under general Miller, the Afghans, with support from the coalition, have accelerated the fight against the Taliban. These are rare images captured by American forces of a raid on the Taliban just weeks ago. Afghan special forces, backed by the Americans, storming this Taliban prison. Taliban fighters with their hands in the air. They are about to rescue their own troops, who had been held captive by the Taliban inside that prison, chained to one another. They cut through shackles to set them free. And what is remarkable here is that even as they target the Taliban with deadly force, the U.S. Is also now negotiating with the Taliban, trying to end this war. The political talks, I do think, are positive. I’ve talked about this fight multiple times and it is a fight, neither side will win it militarily, so, if neither side is going to win it militarily, you have to move towards a political settlement here. Reporter: Do you think those political talks with the Taliban are key part of any end game here? Absolutely. Reporter: There have been reports the president would like to see a drawdown of U.S. Troops here in Afghanistan. Has there been any order to do that? No. First of all, I have the authorities of the capabilities that I need from the U.S. And the coalition standpoint, to work with our Afghan partners. At the same time, as a commander, I’m always trying to bring the footprint down, bring our force structure down. Reporter: And the U.S. Commander made it clear, he’s a general, not a pollty-maker, and says he’ll follow his chain of command and the president. We’re flying over kabul here in Afghanistan, of course, America’s longest war. And they’ll tell you here that part of any end game for U.S. Forces here is making sure that the Afghan forces are prepared to fight the insurgency. And that insurgency now includes ISIS. You are looking at Afghan special forces just weeks ago, with help from the Americans, the coalition. They are fighting ISIS, not in Syria, but in Afghanistan, supported with U.S. Air strikes. And unlike the Taliban, ISIS has no desire to negotiate. This four-star general has no desire to let them go unchecked. General Miller making it clear, there is no end game here with safe havens for terrorists. In 2001, it was very clear to the world what we were doing in Afghanistan. And in 2019, there still are national interests that needed to be safeguarded. General Miller talking me they will continue the assault on the Taliban. They will keep up the pressure. And the escalating assault on ISIS, he is determined to make sure any possible safe havens like the ones that existed on 9/11, are destroyed.
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