Maverick Trump Plows On, Says Willing to Meet Taliban Demand to Withdraw From Afghanistan If Peace Reached

Friday, February 1, 2019
By Paul Martin

That’s a bold thing, and a common sense thing

In comments at the White House on Thursday, President Trump finally addressed weeks of reports of peace negotiation in Afghanistan, saying that if a peace deal is reached, he is willing to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan.

That’s a huge deal, and not just because the US has been occupying Afghanistan since 2001. These comments came the same day that the Senate passed a non-binding resolution expressing opposition to leaving Afghanistan.

Indications are that a peace deal with the Taliban to cap off over 17 years of war is a very real possibility. The Taliban’s main demand is for all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan, and would guarantee no ISIS or al-Qaeda bases are allowed in Afghanistan.

While other officials have said a lot of other issues need to be sorted out for a final deal to be reached, those are already the broad strokes of a pact, and a reason to be optimistic that a negotiated settlement could happen.

Indeed. This is the only way peace happens. The Taliban have been offering to come out of the bush forever now but their key demand has always been that foreigners agree to a withdrawal timetable — and since Trump and Americans want the very same thing, why not?

That Trump has finally confirmed this publicly confirms the current peace talks in Qatar are serious and have a real chance of producing a settlement. Best not to get one’s hopes up, but after 18 years America’s longest war and occupation of another sovereign nation could actually soon finally be over.

Moreover it shows Trump won’t bent to the blob on this one easily. The Senate republicans are voting against him and for permanent war. He doesn’t care. He schooled the Republican Party mainstream three years ago and should stick to his guns.

Hate him for Venezuela, Yemen, Iran, Khan Shaykhun strikes…(indeed the list is long), but is he an unqualified evil on everything? No, not by comparison to anyone else that was likely to win the White House in 2016. It’s been one step forward, two steps back, but on Syria, Afghanistan and Korea he is the unlikely, the best, the only, chance for peace those places and the Americans have.

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