Josh Hawley: Why are we still in Afghanistan?

Yesterday the US Inspector General for Afghanistan testified to what we’d heard reported last year, that essentially the US has no idea what we are really doing in Afghanistan:

That’s pretty dire considering how long the US has been in Afghanistan. I remember remarking under the Obama administration that it seemed all we were really doing over there was getting our own troops killed via back-stabbing suicide bombers. I never realized it was this bad though.

Indeed, there are reports today of the Trump administration making progress in negotiations to get our troops out of there:

The U.S. and the Taliban appeared closer Wednesday to a breakthrough in talks over an American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said there had been “notable progress” in negotiations.

Washington and the insurgents have been locked in gruelling discussions that have stretched over more than a year for a deal that would see the U.S. pull thousands of troops out of Afghanistan.

In return, the Taliban would provide various security guarantees and launch eventual talks with the Kabul government.

In a series of tweets late Tuesday, Ghani said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had called him to inform him of developments in the talks, which are taking place in Doha.

“Today, I was pleased to receive a call from @SecPompeo, informing me of the notable progress made in the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban,” Ghani said on his official Twitter account.

“The Secretary informed me about the Taliban’s proposal with regards to bringing a significant and enduring reduction in violence.”

Taliban and Afghan government sources in Doha and Kabul told CBS News’ Sami Yousafzai that the U.S. and the Taliban had agreed a path forward that would see the Taliban commit to reduce violence for a longer period that they previously have.

If the Taliban show they can stop attacks in that initial test period, then U.S. would sign a deal authorizing a military withdrawal from the country.

It’s really amazing that we are negotiating with the Taliban for them to take on the responsibility of reducing violence in Afghanistan, when they were the ones who gave Osama bin Laden a safe haven for his training camps which were used to train for the death and destruction committed on 9/11.


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