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Head of US, NATO forces in Afghanistan says ‘best time’ for Taliban to negotiate for peace

Now is the best time for the Taliban to negotiate for peace, the top US general in Afghanistan, John Nicholson, said Wednesday. The head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan said the Taliban has taken heavy casualties since US President Donald Trump authorized ramped-up air operations last year, pointing to increasingly effective Afghan commando and regular Afghan army units. The general also warned that an increased air and ground campaign against the insurgents would only get worse, AP reported. Last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan to open talks to end the 16-year war, offering to negotiate with the Taliban without any preconditions. The group’s response to the offer has so far been muted.