Rise in US deaths in Afghanistan clouds outlook for peace

WASHINGTON (AP) — A rash of U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan puts a spotlight on a stalemated war that is testing President Donald Trump’s commitment to pursuing peace with the Taliban.

Three U.S. servicemembers were reported killed in a roadside bombing Tuesday, three days after an American was fatally shot — apparently accidentally by an Afghan soldier.

Trump’s strategy in Afghanistan is built on hope that after 17 years of fighting, the Taliban can be drawn into peace talks. That has not yet happened, but some U.S. analysts say prospects are better than at any other time in the war. Additional U.S. casualties may test Trump’s patience with this approach.

Further complicating the outlook is uncertainty about next April’s planned presidential election.

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