Trump's US-Taliban Move Pushes Afghans Toward Fragile Vote

Clay Curtis
September 12, 2019

Kabulov's remarks came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said that peace talks with the Taliban are "dead" after cancelling a planned meeting outside of the nation's capital, in retaliation for recent Taliban attack in Kabul, which killed a dozen people, including a U.S. service member. "That makes my blood boil", said Tallon, who lost her brother, probationary firefighter Sean Tallon.

But US public opinion has soured on almost two decades of war and Trump, after initially being persuaded to reinforce US troops, has said that the United States should not be involved in "endless" war.

The Taliban "are the people who are partially responsible for our loved ones dying and other Americans dying", Riches said, but "I'd like to see it end".

Those talks have produced a draft agreement under which the USA would expedite the withdrawal of some 5,400 troops by next spring and the Taliban would commit not to provide a haven for Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. "That's not going to happen", McKenzie told a group of reporters travelling with him during a stop at Bagram Airfield in northeastern Afghanistan.

"I think it would be great if the troops were withdrawn".

The president stunned the world on Saturday when he announced the cancellation of a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David near Washington.

The talks were aimed at securing a peace deal to end 18 years of war. The president, however, came under increased pressure from the Afghan government and some USA lawmakers who mistrust the Taliban and think it's too early to withdraw American forces.

During the past year the USA and the Taliban carried out eight rounds of negotiations at which they discussed the withdrawal of the army, ceasefire, the prospects of future inter-Afghan relations and the guarantees that Afghanistan will not become a ground for global terrorism.

But in revealing on Twitter that he had considered and then canceled the summit, Trump went further and suspended negotiations entirely between the United States and the Taliban.

Unbeknownst to nearly everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday.

The Taliban said on Tuesday that it would continue to fight against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Federal election campaign to kick off on Wednesday
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer spoke to reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday morning before flying to Trois-Rivières, Que. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau address a crowd at a Liberal fundraiser in Brampton, Ont., on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Senator Mitt Romney said that "it wouldn't have been my choice to have the Taliban at Camp David" - an opinion echoed by Senator Ron Johnson, who said he was "glad" the talks were not held there.

"The Story is False!"

The Taliban's assertion got here hours after Mr Trump instructed reporters that the U.S. was strolling away from negotiations after nearly a 12 months of talks that aimed to pave the best way for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan following 18 years of warfare.

Many in Washington, DC, were shocked and some were angry that the Taliban visit would have occurred around the time of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US.

There was also widespread consternation at the characteristically unpredictable manner of Trump's negotiating style.

In a tweet, he accused journalists of trying 'to create the look of turmoil in the White House, of which there is none'.

He also claimed without evidence that the U.S. has been "hitting our Enemy hard than at any time in the last 10 years!"

He assured the American public that U.S. commanders in Afghanistan had all the authority they need to protect American forces and to prevent attacks on the homeland.

Trump would like to reduce USA troop numbers to about 8,600.

"We hope the American side to review its current stance", he said.

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