Speed Reads

Shut it down

Mattis says 40 years of war in Afghanistan is enough

The United States has been involved in conflict in Afghanistan for long enough, Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters in India Monday.

"In Afghanistan, it's gone on now — it's approaching 40 years. Forty years is enough, and it's time for everyone to get on board, support the United Nations, support [Indian] Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi, support [Afghan] President [Ashraf] Ghani, and all those who are trying to maintain peace and make for a better world here," Mattis said. "So, we are on that track."

The United States has been actively at war in Afghanistan for 17 years, but was also involved in proxy fights against the Soviet Union beginning in 1979. U.S. intervention in Afghanistan continued through the 1980s and 1990s.

While Mattis has repeatedly spoken of ending the war in Afghanistan, highlighting the need for a diplomatic solution, other recent comments suggest his vision of an end to the war does not include U.S. troop withdrawal. "We are going to stand with the 41 nations, largest wartime coalition in history, who are still committed to this effort," he said at a defense forum in California Saturday.