U.S. strikes in Afghanistan have increased on Trump's orders, Esper says

The U.S. military has stepped up operations against militants in Afghanistan on the orders of President Donald Trump following the very public collapse of peace talks with the Taliban, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday. “We did step up our attacks on the Taliban since the talks broke down,” Esper told reporters traveling with him back to Washington from Louisville, Ky. “The president did want us to pick up in response to the heinous attacks that the Taliban and others conducted throughout Afghanistan," including Kabul. The remarks constitute the Pentagon's first public confirmation of Trump's recent pronouncements that U.S. military operations have picked up in recent weeks.

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