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Peace Deal Signed, U.S. To Withdraw All Troops from Afghanistan in 14 Months

The United States signed a peace agreement with Taliban militants Saturday in an effort to bring the 18 years of war in Afghanistan to an end.
The agreement outlines the process for U.S. troops to be removed from the area with the complete withdrawal to depend on the Taliban meeting its terrorism-prevention commitments, The Associated Press reported.
In the next 3-4 months, the U.S. will withdraw about 4,400 troops from Afghanistan, bringing the number of troops there down from 13,000 to 8,600.
The complete removal of troops is scheduled to happen in 14 months.
“Part of the process of making peace is to begin to take down the edifice [of sanctions], but the language is carefully constructed to be conditional, depending on Taliban performance,” a senior State Department official told NPR on condition of anonymity.
“If the Taliban don’t do what we hope they’ll do, our requirements to begin to take down that edifice are vitiated.”
In remarks earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the agreement rests on the Taliban’s ability to uphold their promise to sever ties with terrorists so that the United States homeland remains protected.
“The Taliban must respect the agreement, specifically regarding their promises of severing ties with terrorists. We’re not required to leave unless they can demonstrate they are fulfilling every element of their end of the bargain,” he said.
“So we have our deep counterterrorism interest there, making sure that the homeland is never attacked. It’s one of the central underpinnings of what President Trump has laid before us.”
BREAKING: The US and Taliban have signed a historic peace deal, in which the US has agreed to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan within 14 months.

For more on this breaking story, head here: http://trib.al/TAoNYqt 
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The agreement also outlines conditions for an exchange of prisoners between the Afghan government and the Taliban in order to build trust.
The Afghan government is expected to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 Afghan security forces held by the Taliban.
“The road to peace will be long and hard and there will be setbacks, and there is a risk always for spoilers,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, according to the AP.
“But the thing is, we are committed, the Afghan people are committed to peace, and we will continue to provide support.”
The agreement is just another step toward President Donald Trump’s promise to get the U.S. out of its “endless wars” in the Middle East.
The invasion of Afghanistan was ordered by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Over 18 years later, the U.S. has spent more than $750 billion on the war.
There are currently over 16,500 NATO soldiers serving in the area as well, 8,000 of which are American.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to America’s sons and daughters who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan, and to the many thousands who served over the past nearly 19 years,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a statement celebrating the deal, NPR reported.


  1. how can they continue to guard the opium poppies if they withdraw the troops?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. "Peace Deal Signed, U.S. To Withdraw All Troops from Afghanistan in 14 Months"

    Sorry, but the headline is simply inaccurate.

    This highly contrived agreement is not about peace.

    It's about giving Trump a few scraps to brag over in the election.

    Below is a footnote I've added to a comment on my site explaining the agreement:

    It is extremely unlikely that anything will happen beyond the first stage of the agreement, which just brings American troops back where they were before Trump's clumsy efforts.

    The government of Afghanistan is not even a party to the agreement. And I'm pretty sure the Pentagon wants troops to remain in a place bordering on Iran and China.

    This "peace” has the same substance as Trump's efforts in North Korea.


    The terms of the signed American-Taliban agreement are somewhat different than those I read earlier, but as with all Trump’s “achievements” in foreign affairs, they lack clarity and certainty. And they do not represent a genuine peace Trump will certainly brag about in the upcoming election.

    Troops will be reduced to 8,600 over the next five months. Five bases will be closed. All the rest of the American and NATO troops could leave by the end of 14 months if the Taliban adheres to the agreement’s conditions which include, importantly, holding peace talks with the Kabul government they do not recognize as legitimate.

    That is a big “if” because Kabul is not a party to the agreement, and just exactly what is to be achieved between Kabul and the Taliban, in order for the remaining troops to leave, is not clear. And the government in Kabul has not yet even settled who won the last presidential election, so the Taliban’s actual negotiating partner is not known.

    The deal promises to work on a large prisoner exchange between the Taliban and Kabul, but there are certainly disincentives for Kabul releasing large numbers of Taliban prisoners.

    Back to the idea of a "peace dividend," even if this were a real peace agreement, there can be no such thing as a "peace dividend" with the military/security establishment spending a trillion dollars a year, and all of it borrowed.

    The full piece is here, but its focus is on Trump versus Sanders in the election: