Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Kabul on Wednesday said that the chances of a successful outcome from peace talks to end the Afghan war is higher than before and could happen in the "near term," Reuters reported.
"I think the chances of a positive outcome through negotiations is higher than I have seen, and Iíve been deeply involved in Afghanistan for 18 years," Milley told reporters.
This is General Milleyís first trip to Afghanistan since taking the Joint Chiefs position in September.
He added that work remained to actually see a positive outcome.
"A lot of time in situations like this, two steps forward one step back," he said.
The talks between the US and Taliban aimed at ending the war collapsed in September after President Donald Trump called off the talks after the Talibanís suicide attack in Kabul killed a US soldier and 11 other people.
Milley said negotiations were "ongoing."
Last month the US military said that it had quietly reduced the number of troops by about 2,000, to bring the total number of US troops in Afghanistan to between 12,000 and 13,000.
The Pentagon has said it can go down to 8,600 troops and still carry out a counter-terrorism mission.
Milley said no decisions had been made on troop reductions and there were several options, including going down to 8,600.