The Trump administration has begun withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan based on their new peace agreement with the Taliban:
FOX NEWS – American troops began withdrawing from Afghanistan on Tuesday as part of the peace deal signed in late February with the Taliban, marking what could be the beginning of the end of the United States’ longest foreign military campaign.
Sonny Leggett, the U.S. military’s spokesman in the Middle Eastern country, said in a statement that the military had begun its “conditions-based reduction of forces to 8,600 over 135 days.”
Currently, the U.S. has about 13,000 soldiers in Afghanistan — 8,000 of whom are involved in training and advising the country’s National Security Forces, while about 5,000 others are involved in anti-terror operations.
So in a little over four months we’ll be down to just over 4,000 troops there, which is significant.
But the drawdown of the remaining troops will take much longer:
The U.S.-Taliban deal signed on Feb. 28 was touted by the Trump administration as an effort to end 18 years of war in Afghanistan. The next crucial step is set to be intra-Afghan talks, in which all factions – included the Taliban – would negotiate a road map for their country’s future.
The United States’ partial troops withdrawal over an 18-month provided for in the deal is linked to the Taliban keeping its promise to help fight terror in Afghanistan, but not to the success of talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
So the next step of the deal is contingent on the Taliban, a terrorist organization, fighting terrorism in Afghanistan? This sounds like the kind of deal I would have expected out of Obama, and it would have been apparent to all of us that it’s just an excuse to make a ‘deal’ in order to pull our troops out.
As I’ve said in the past, I’m conflicted over this. On the one hand I do believe it’s long overdue for our troops to come home. But making a deal with the very people who gave safe haven to the terrorist group that killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 is just a very hard pill to swallow.