Senior U.S. military official raises alarm over Afghan security forces' losses

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-05 11:08:02|Editor: Li Xia
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The nominated commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) voiced concern on Tuesday over the high casualty rate of Afghan security forces as the fight in the war-torn country is dragging into its 18th year.

"Their losses have been very high ... their losses are not going to be sustainable unless we correct this problem," said Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

McKenzie was nominated to replace departing Army General Joseph L. Votel to head CENTCOM.

He also acknowledged the recent deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and the passing of U.S. commander of the Fifth Fleet, Scott Stearney, in Bahrain.

McKenzie's remarks came as Washington has stepped up efforts to seek a peaceful solution to end the exhausting war in Afghanistan.

During the hearing, U.S. lawmakers also voiced frustration over the stalemate for U.S. troops' involvement in the Afghan war.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said last month that over 28,000 Afghan police officers and soldiers have been killed since 2015.

The death toll of U.S. service members has surpassed 2,400 since the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held three-day talks with the Taliban political envoys last month but reached no peace deal. More talks are expected to be held this month.