AVA- Sgt. Meddock, 26, was wounded this month when his unit from 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment came under fire during a counterterrorism operation in western Afghanistan’s Badghis province near the country’s border with Iran.
Military officials did not specify the type of operation Sgt. Meddock’s team was conducting in the province. The 75th Ranger Regiment is known to be involved in both the U.S.-led counterterrorism mission dubbed Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and joint operations with Afghan national security forces.
A Pentagon statement on Friday said Sgt. Meddock, a native of Spearman, Texas, was evacuated to U.S. military medical facilities in Landstuhl, Germany, where he died of his injuries suffered in Afghanistan.
His death comes as the Trump administration’s efforts to broker a peace deal with the Taliban and end the longest war in U.S. history have hit significant roadblocks in recent weeks.
Taliban representatives abruptly cancelled talks last week that had been scheduled to take place in Qatar with U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.
Mr. Khalilzad last met with top Taliban officials in late December to discuss potential peace talks with the insurgent group.
Analysts say a central goal of the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy has been to increase pressure on the Taliban in a way that would force the group into a peace deal with the U.S-backed Afghan government. The strategy has represented a break from past administrations that sought to end the war by totally defeating the insurgent group.
But the pursuit of a peace deal has broken down during the weeks since reports emerged last month that President Trump had ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for a possible withdrawal of 7,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan— roughly half the total American force stationed there.
A recent Pentagon assessment of the 17-year conflict claimed recent gains made against the Taliban by U.S. and Afghan forces could be lost if Washington presses ahead with plans to cut the number of American troops.
In its annual assessment of the Afghan war, Defense Department analysts also suggested any let up in pressure on the Taliban from Afghan forces, and their American and NATO counterparts, could derail fragile efforts to get peace talks with the group off the ground.

 

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