Trump Scheduled to Meet with National Security Team Friday to Discuss Plan for Withdrawing U.S. Troops Out of Afghanistan

  • President Trump is scheduled to meet with his national security team on Friday to discuss possibly phasing American troops out of Afghanistan, which the president has expressed interest in the past to allow Afghanistan to take control of its country back.
  • However, critics have warned that drastically reducing U.S. troops in Afghanistan could allow the Taliban to regain control of the country.
  • Back in the U.S., Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was previously in Qatar for negotiation talks with the Taliban, which he described as “productive.”
  • According to reports, “the two sides have been discussing an agreement in which the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan, in return for the Taliban promising to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a haven for terrorists and Al Qaeda.”
  • According to “The Washington Post,” the “proposed plan could cut the number of troops in the country from approximately 14,000 to 8,000-9,000 – which would be nearly the same as when Trump entered office in 2017.”
  • Friday’s meeting is scheduled to be held in the afternoon in Bedminster, New Jersey, and “a number of Cabinet officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” are expected to attend.
  • When asked if the Taliban could be trusted, Trump said earlier this month: “Well, I don’t want to say if they can be trusted or not.”
  • Trump continued: “Look, history, I would say, is not so good, but they don’t like us much either.  But we’ve brought them down; we’ve brought the number of soldiers down very substantially. They’re coming down. We are talking to them.  We have a lot of advantages making a deal with us.”
  • In a statement, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said: “To trust the Taliban to control Al Qaeda, ISIS-K, and other radical Islamist groups present in Afghanistan – as a replacement for a US counter-terrorism force – would be a bigger mistake than Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal.”

Reference Links

  • The Guardian: Trump to meet top advisers over US withdrawal from Afghanistan – live READ
  • Fox: Trump set to meet with officials on Afghanistan, amid concerns over withdrawal plans READ
  • Reuters: Trump meeting advisers on Afghan peace plan READ
  • The Hill: Trump to meet with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan READ

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