Kabul, Oct. 20 -- : US Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced stop in the war-torn nation which is witnessing persistent attacks by Taliban.

This is Esper's first trip to Kabul after taking office as defence secretary and after Trump abruptly ended peace talks with the terrorist group.

According to Al Jazeera, Esper told reporters travelling with him that he believed the US could reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting the counterterrorism fight against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) group.

Afghanistan has 14,000 American troops as per part of US-led coalition. Trump had ordered a troop withdrawal in conjunction with the peace talks

"The aim is...