US-UK talk on China, Russia & Afghan peace

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper hosts a bilateral meeting with United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., March 5, 2020. (DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard)

Worldwide News: Today, during a Pentagon meeting, defense leaders of U.S. and United Kingdom had a strong discussion on a range of issues including China, Russia, Afghanistan and more. Dr. Mark T. Esper who is the Defense Secretary appreciated the relationship with UK by saying United States shares a “special relationship” with United Kingdom and welcomed the ask for supports.

Defense Secretary of British Ben Wallace, too made a strong stress calling special relationship and also stressed the role of NATO in both the U.S. and British defense strategies.

United States and United Kingdom’s special relationship is considered to be the cornerstone of the international rules-based order put in place after World War 2 which has served the world well. “It will remain equally important as we confront this era of great power competition,” Esper said. “In this respect, we look forward to contributing to the UK integrated review as Britain — like the United States — realigns its military to the security challenges of the 21st century, particularly those posed by China.”

They, too, had a discussion on Afghanistan in following the meeting where Wallace was questioned about an op-ed that appeared in a British newspaper acknowledging the agreement with the Taliban was rushed and puts the sacrifice of those who fought in Afghanistan in question.

“The service members from all nations who served in Afghanistan did so to try and to get peace.” Wallace said. He said that the biggest betrayal to the young men and women of all the allies who lost their lives would be to not try and achieve peace, for the investment in the work that’s been done, that’s what this process is trying to achieve.
Wallace further explained how he was reassured by Esper about the deal with the Taliban which was just conditions-based.

The United States showed a thankful image for the constant diplomatic, economic and military leadership of United Kingdom on the global stage and calling the nation one of the few in NATO that exceeds the alliance’s 2 percent of gross domestic product to defense, goal.

Esper said that they become in close consultation as the peace evaluates forward and the all-important intra-Afghan negotiations begin.

Reassurance of retaining of United States in Afghanistan by Esper to Wallace happened as well.
“the fundamental capabilities to protect our service members and allies and support the Afghan security forces. We will also ensure that a drawdown of U.S. forces is aligned with commensurate reductions by the UK and our other partners.” said Esper.

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