US general for NATO: Afghan violence will rise before vote

The top U.S. general for NATO says he expects increased violence in the lead-up to the election in Afghanistan later this month

"At this very moment the signal that we send to our NATO partners is that the U.S. is committed, NATO is committed, and the mission still remains," said Wolters, who is in Ljubljana for a meeting of allied chiefs of defense, including Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Right now, Wolters added, "there are no discussions" with allies about any troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trump has said the U.S. would cut troop levels from about 14,000 to about 8,600, but talk of any pullout has been muted since Trump called off the peace talks and canceled a meeting he said he wanted to have with Afghan government leaders and the Taliban at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Wolters didn't provide details about any potential uptick in U.S. military operations. He said the allies will do all they can to help Afghan security forces ensure a safe and secure presidential election on Sept. 28.

"We anticipate increased violence," said Wolters, adding that planners will adjust "the stance and speed" of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in the country to secure the voting. He said the election "probably won't be perfect," but allied troops will support Afghan forces as they work to keep voters safe.

Trump, however, has already signaled an increase in offensive operations, saying Monday that "we've hit the Taliban harder in the last four days than they've been hit in over 10 years."

U.S. officials have so far declined to detail how much the U.S. offensive has increased or how many more airstrikes the U.S., allies and Afghans have been conducting.