Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan denied reports Tuesday that the Pentagon is scaling down operations in the war-torn Middle Eastern nation.
The reports said the United States military had been ordered to stop advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and limit combat operations, as part of "technical details" of an agreement negotiated with the Taliban. Such a move would cut U.S. presence in Afghanistan to a few thousand troops.
U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, commander of NATO's Resolute Support Mission, called the reports "inaccurate and speculative."
"The characterizations of changes to our authorities and operations have no basis in fact," he said. "We have no such orders and have made no such changes."
U.S. forces and the Taliban have been negotiating an exit from Afghanistan for months. The latest round ended Sunday with no deal, but both sides agreed to consult with leaders about next steps. U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad had indeed said the latest talks involved "technical details."
Asad Majeed Khan, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, said Monday recent tensions between India and its Kashmir territory could complicate progress between U.S. and Taliban negotiators -- as Islamabad may re-deploy troops from its border with Afghanistan, which has been a haven for Taliban fighters.
"We have our hands full," Khan said. "If the situation escalates on the eastern border, we will have to undertake redeployments."
U.S. Army Specialist Michael Isaiah Nance, who died in Afghanistan last month, was buried in his hometown of Chicago Tuesday.