President Donald Trump on Monday said that US peace talks with the Taliban are over and announced that the US military has dramatically scaled up attacks on the insurgents in Afghanistan.
Driving another nail into the coffin of what had appeared to be nearly completed negotiations, Trump said that a US military onslaught on the guerrillas was now at its fiercest in a decade.
Until this weekend, there had been steadily mounting expectations of a deal that would see the United States draw down troop levels in Afghanistan. In return, the Taliban would offer security guarantees to keep extremist groups out.
The cancelation - announced - was the first time most Americans learned that such a dramatic meeting was even planned.
But Trump denied any discord among government members including Vice President Mike Pence.