U.S. signs withdrawal deal with Taliban

U.S. signs withdrawal deal with Taliban
Taliban fighters. AP video

[Ed. – This is one of those “only Trump” things, because only Trump would go ahead and do it.  From any conventional aspect, it looks like an ill-fated move for the U.S.  The criticism is muted, however, in part because even many of Trump’s biggest critics have been agitating for a U.S. withdrawal for years.  But it’s also, in part, because more and more observers recognize Trump’s moves don’t necessarily bring the results expected from conventional assumptions.  We’ll see where this goes.]

The United States signed a historic peace treaty with Taliban militants on Saturday, aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan that began after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke cautiously in front of Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar, calling the agreement a “true test” of their commitment to peace.

“We will closely watch the Taliban’s compliance with their commitments and calibrate the pace of our withdrawal to their actions. This is how we will ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a base for international terrorists,” he said. …

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As part of the agreement, the U.S. is drawing back a number of the approximately 13,000 troops stationed there, although more than 8,000 will remain to ensure certain counter-terrorism conditions are met by the Taliban.

Another condition of the agreement calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban members from Afghan-run jails, although it was not clear if the Afghan government will comply with that.

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