Patrick Shanahan 31218 Credit US Department of Defense.
USA

Acting US Defense Secretary On Unannounced Afghan Visit

Patrick Shanahan arrived on Monday morning and has already met with the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani.

Patrick Shanahan 31218 Credit US Department of Defense.

The visit follows weeks of increasing uncertainty about the future of the longest-running US war in history​​​​​​ (Picture: US Department of Defense).

The US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan. 

Mr Shanahan arrived on Monday morning and has already met with the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, and the country's chief executive and defence minister.

The CNN reports that while on the plane to Afghanistan, Mr Shanahan said he had no orders to "step down our forces in Afghanistan," but the aim of his visit was to support the peace talks between Washington and the Taliban.

Patrick Shanhan (Picture: US Department of Defense).
Patrick Shanahan replaced Jim Mattis (Picture: US Department of Defense).

The Acting US Defense Secretary remarked it is important to include the Afghan government in talks, from which it has so far been side-lined, to end the 17-year-old war.

Mr Shanahan replaced Jim Mattis, who quit in December over policy differences with US President Donald Trump.

Last week, the US president tweeted that the United States "will soon control 100 percent" of the so-called Islamic State territory.