U.S. president Donald Trump's DIY style of foreign policy was on display once again when he abruptly announced that peace talks with Afghan Taliban were now "dead". The only surprise was that things had come as far as a possible Camp David meeting being contemplated.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
He said: "What they did was awful, they killed an American soldier". The Taliban and the U.S. and Afghan military have been fighting more intensely for the past two years, with the aim, on both sides, of making gains on the ground to bolster their position during the negotiations. They desperately want peace, stability and an end to violence.
In a Tuesday op-ed - published a day before the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks - Thiessen, who has previously referred to the president's Democratic and media critics as appearing "increasingly petty and small", diverted from his usual tone defending Trump and instead compared the Taliban invitation to former President Barack Obama inviting the "Islamic State leaders to Camp David".
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan looks just as stuck.
Crawford: The Trump administration's approach to negotiations gets mixed reviews in my book. The Afghan government was more of an onlooker as the Taliban doesn't recognise the Ashraf Ghani-led dispensation, whom it considers a United States puppet regime.
But in the recently called off negotiations, Islamabad had emerged as a crucial go-between for the Afghan talks given its ability to help bring the Taliban to the table. If the Taliban are major players in Afghanistan so is the Afghan government.
Shaheen said a ceasefire inside the country was never part of the negotiations but rather an intra-Afghan matter that would form part of future discussions with the country's government - but only after foreign forces withdraw.
Until this weekend there had been steadily mounting expectations of a deal that would see the U.S. drawdown troop levels in Afghanistan.
By ceasing to engage with Taliban, which enjoys support and protection from India's beleaguered neighbour Pakistan, US has validated New Delhi's long-standing policy on Afghanistan. Some 14,000 U.S. troops remain in the country, a fraction of the peak of about 100,000 in 2010. Trump has cited the death of a U.S. service member in one of those blasts as the reason why he now calls the U.S. -Taliban talks "dead". The government has been fighting the Taliban, which has been waging a war against Kabul for nearly two decades. All the Afghan stakeholders must be included in the peace process.
The militant group responded harshly to the abrupt about-face, vowing to wage "jihad" against the United States and renew efforts to capture new territory in Afghanistan.