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Thread: Foreign troops to quit Afghanistan in 18 months under draft deal

  1. #151
    Anger grows at civilian deaths by US, Afghan forces

    By: Kathy Gannon, The Associated Press   6 hours ago

    In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, photo, Aziz Rahman, second, right, a village elder, who had contracted the farmers to harvest the pine nuts, speaks during an interview to the Associated Press in Jalalabad city east of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

    JALALABAD, Afghanistan — The workers were sleeping on the mountainside where they had spent a long day harvesting pine nuts in eastern Afghanistan. Some were in tents, others lay outside under the stars, when the U.S. airstrike tore into them.

    Only hours before the Sept. 19 strike, the businessman who hired them had heard there was a drone over the mountain and called Afghanistan’s intelligence agency to remind an official his workers were there — as he’d notified the agency days earlier.

    “He laughed and said, ‘Don’t worry they are not going to bomb you,’” the businessman, Aziz Rahman, recalled.

    Twenty workers were killed in the strike, including seven members of one family. A relative, Mohammed Hasan, angrily described body parts they found scattered on the ground, gesturing at his arm, his leg, his head.

    “This is not their (Americans') first mistake,” said Hasan. “They say ‘sorry’. What are we supposed to do with ‘sorry?’ ... People now are angry. They are so angry with the foreigners, with this government.”

    More civilians have died by Afghan forces, allies than by militants in Afghanistan in the first half of 2019, UN says

    More civilians were killed by Afghan and international coalition forces in Afghanistan in the first half of this year than by the Taliban and other militants, the U.N. mission said in a report released Tuesday.
    By: Rahim Faiez, The Associated Press

    Increasing civilian deaths in stepped-up U.S. airstrikes and operations by Afghan forces highlight the conundrum the U.S. military and its Afghan allies face, 18 years into the war: How to hunt down their Islamic State group and Taliban enemies, while keeping civilians safe and on their side.

    Complaints have also grown over abuses and killings by a CIA-trained Afghan special intelligence force known as Unit 02. In the same province, Nangarhar, members of the unit killed four brothers during a raid on their home. The brothers’ hands were bound and they were shot in the head.

    https://www.militarytimes.com/flashp...afghan-forces/



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  3. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Hopes are rising for the resumption of the abandoned Taliban and US peace talks after eleven senior Taliban members were freed from prison in an exchange with three kidnapped Indian engineers.
    Among those freed are two former provincial governors of the Taliban and Abdul Rashid Baluch, a notorious regional leader sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for trafficking opium.
    The men were being held near Bagram air base outside Kabul.
    It is believed American authorities must have given permission for the swap as Baluch was previously on their ĎSpecially Designated Global Terroristí list.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/taliban-comma...183435755.html
    Bump to counter slide.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  5. #153
    Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman of the Taliban political office in Qatar, tweeted about Trump's speech at a rally in Minneapolis, just a few hours after the event, welcoming the U.S. president's call to bring American troops home from Afghanistan.
    Shaheen said early on Friday that "Trump once again promised to withdraw forces from Afghanistan" and added that this "means that ending the occupation of Afghanistan is the American people's choice. "

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/taliban-welco...123335798.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  6. #154
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    "Trump once again promised to withdraw forces from Afghanistan"
    Trump again promises..

    and again
    and on and so forth...8 months to go,, not like there is any rush.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  7. #155
    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan amid efforts to restart peace talks with the Taliban.
    "The aim is to still get a peace agreement at some point, a political agreement, that is the best way forward," Esper told reporters traveling with him Sunday.

    More at: https://www.voanews.com/south-centra...it-afghanistan
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  8. #156
    Lot of sanitized war propaganada here, surprised why this was not posted here already. We might see a MAGA tweet on this soon.

    Where does 18 months deadline comes from, 2020 election timing?



    At least 62 people dead in blast at Afghanistan mosque

    The explosion took place as dozens of people gathered inside the mosque for weekly Friday prayers.



    A volunteer carries an injured youth to a hospital following a blast during weekly Friday prayers in a mosque in Afghanistan.Noorullah Shirzada / AFP - Getty Images
    Oct. 18, 2019, 10:19 AM EDT
    By Ahmed Mengli and Associated Press
    KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 62 people were killed and dozens more were injured in a blast during weekly prayers Friday at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan.
    A local government spokesperson confirmed the death toll to NBC News. Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for Nangarhar province's governor, said at least 33 people were wounded in the explosion.

    The blast took place as dozens of people gathered inside the mosque for the Friday prayers.
    There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/l...osque-n1068636


    More civilians have died by Afghan forces, allies than by militants in Afghanistan in the first half of 2019, UN says

  9. #157
    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.

    "The aim is to still get a peace agreement at some point, a political agreement. That is the best way forward," Esper told reporters traveling with him to Afghanistan. He is due to meet President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. troops while in Afghanistan.
    "I hope we can move forward and come up with a political agreement that meets our ends and meets the goals we want to achieve," Esper said, adding that talks were in the State Department’s domain.
    He added that the United States could go down to about 8,600 troops, from the current 14,000, without affecting counter-terrorism operations, if needed.

    One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that after Trump's sudden announcement that the United States would withdraw all its troops from northern Syria last week, there was more of a realization that Trump was serious about withdrawing from Afghanistan as well.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-chie...113822496.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  10. #158
    The United States has pulled out 2,000 troops from Afghanistan over the past year, leaving just over 12,000 in the country, according to the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported Oct. 21.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...commander-says
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  11. #159
    Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, is visiting Moscow for talks with Russian, Chinese and Pakistani officials to discuss reviving the Afghan peace process after U.S. President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban in September, The Express Tribune reported Oct. 23.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...-peace-process
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  12. #160
    The US used to be a moral peaceful free country with a balanced budget, but today it is a bankrupt immoral warmongering police state.


    All the rules have changed.


    You might get arrested for loitering, but just stand on any street corner and watch how many drivers use mobile phones while driving, have tinted windows, have unbuckled seatbelts, litter, speed, run redlights, and eat to see the decline.


    Since everything is illegal, no cares about breaking the law because even existing is a crime now.


    You can blame blacks and illegal immigrants for lawbreaking, but white people break the law, too.


    Why obey the law if the government doesn't?


    Good men don't need laws.


    Bad men won't obey laws.



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  14. #161
    Why wait 18 months?






    18 months gives too much time to people like Sen. Lindsey Graham, Joe Liebeman, experts with maps and miniskirt photos to try and convince MAGA to flip-flop again and end up reinforcing media's 'always folds/FLAT' narrative.

    Is true that Iraq war champ Lindsey Graham , who recently caused reversal on Syria troops withdrawal, was also behind MAGA reversal on Afghanistan?

    After criticism from Lindsey Graham, Trump says U.S. will keep military in Afghanistan
    washingtonpost
    Aug 29, 2019


    Iraq war champion Lindsey Graham and Foxnews expert showed Trump map of Syrian oil fields to change his mind on troops withdrawal

    This Photo of Afghan Women in Miniskirts Helped Convince Trump to Send More Troops to Afghanitstan
    Afghanistan in 1970s before US funded Afghan Jihadi radicalization intervention





    Hopefully next time steadfast leadership will prevail and flip-flop influencers would not succeed in continuing failed policy. When that happens, will troops come home or would be just rotated to Saudi/Israel/mideast region (Trump has deployed 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East since May2019) ?

    Few hundred troops that were 'withdrawn' from Syria did not come home but were sent to Iraq to fight resurging ISIS there (latest reports suggest some of them would be going back to Syria with more weapons and tanks).

    What if ISIS surged in Afghanistan, would any withdrawn troops be sent back to fight it or withdrawal will be postponed again to 'fight suddenly surging ISIS in Afghanistan' in 2019?
    Enquiring minds should be raising these questions with MAGA think tanks.


    Return of ISIS: Taliban fight ‘join ISIS in droves’ - ‘US is concerned’

    ISIS is once again on the rise, with the terror group now boasting as many as 14,000 fighters in Afghanistan alone.

    By Emily Ferguson
    PUBLISHED: Tue, Sep 17, 2019

    ISIS 'developing' with new caliphate claims expert

    The Afghan branch of ISIS, known as Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K), is gaining ground as Taliban hardliners angry about peace negotiations with the US have “joined ISIS in droves”, according to experts. IS-K, formed in 2014 and known for its ruthless violence and gory propaganda videos on social media, is believed to be responsible for a surge in violence of ISIS violence this year. The attacks have raised fears of an ISIS resurgence even though the group was defeated in its Iraqi and Syrian heartlands earlier this year.


    CENTCOM chief warns 'very worrisome' ISIS presence in

    June 14, 2019
    A senior U.S. general says that ISIS remains a "very worrisome" presence in Afghanistan, but it is unlikely to mount an attack on the U.S. homeland because it is under strong military pressure.
    Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who heads the U.S. Central Command, on June 12 told reporters the extremist group "in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States."
    "It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it will be hard for them to do that," he said.


    ET Bureau's irresponsible reporting on US military 'promoting ISIS in Afghanistan'

    US military allegedly promoting ISIS in Afghanistan

    There are allegations that weapons are often transferred to the territory of Afghanistan by helicopters without identifying insignia.

    ET Bureau
    Apr 22, 2019

    The US military is allegedly allowing members of the ISIS, which have suffered serious defeats in Syria and neighboring Iraq, to infiltrate Afghanistan even as US is engaged with peace talks with Taliban for sake of stability in the landlocked country.

    There are allegations that weapons are often transferred to the territory of Afghanistan by helicopters without identifying insignia. With the US and NATO fully controlling the skies over Afghanistan, there is every reason to believe they had a hand in that, or at least, did not hamper these flights, sources alleged.

    In early April security officials in Afghanistan arrested a group of six media activists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Kabul. Detained individuals were involved in pro-ISIS activities in social media networks, mainly spreading propagandas in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram.
    Afghan officials arrested 10 other ISIS facilitators during a separate operation in Nangarhar province. 12,500 kilograms of explosives were seized during the same operation. Afghan Special Forces, ISIS and the Taliban are preparing for a three-way battle in eastern Afghanistan. ISIS started an offensive against the Taliban few weeks ago in Kunar province - a fight that has displaced more than 20,000 people.
    USA and Brussels, however, deny any such role. USA said that the Islamic State terror group is losing its grip on parts of Afghanistan, slowly succumbing to pressure from U.S. and Afghan forces

    Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had once told al-Jazeera television news network that the US is colluding with Daesh in Afghanistan, and allowing the Takfiris to flourish in his conflict-stricken country.

  15. #162
    As the United States searches for an exit from Afghanistan, its outreach to China and Russia points to its rivals' growing influence in shaping the endgame to its longest-ever conflict. On Oct. 25, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad visited Moscow to discuss reviving the Afghan peace process with Russian, Chinese and Pakistani officials. China is also expected to host Taliban and Afghan government officials for talks next month.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/artic...out-its-rivals
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  16. #163
    The United States said Thursday that it supported continued Indian involvement in Afghanistan, even as President Donald Trump looks to withdraw troops.India is one of the most enthusiastic backers of Afghanistan's government, contributing more than $3 billion since the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the Taliban, who harbored virulently anti-Indian militants.
    "The United States welcomes India's substantial investment in and assistance to Afghanistan," said Nancy Izzo Jackson, a State Department official in charge of Afghanistan.
    "And we will continue to support efforts to achieve an honorable and enduring outcome in Afghanistan that preserves our investment in Afghanistan's future," she told a conference on India's role in Afghanistan at the Hudson Institute.
    India constructed Afghanistan's new parliament building and has also wooed Afghans with its soft power, including Bollywood films.


    Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Indian ambassador in Washington, said that any settlement in Afghanistan needed to ensure that "there is no room for any terrorist elements to create a foothold."
    "It is also important to deliver the message to terrorists that democracies do not surrender to terrorism and in the ideological battle of the 'emirate' versus the 'republic,' the latter prevails," he said.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/us-backs-sust...231958187.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  17. #164
    U.S. President Donald Trump said Nov. 22 that the United States was working on an agreement with the Taliban, Voice of America reported Nov. 23. Meanwhile, sources speaking to Afghanistan-based Tolo News confirmed that talks between both sides had begun in Doha, Qatar.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...trump-suggests
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  18. #165
    President Trump made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Thursday, his first as president, to visit troops for the Thanksgiving holiday. There, Trump said peace talks with the Taliban had resumed, speaking at a US air force base alongside Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.
    Trump landed at Bagram Airfield around 8:30 pm local time Thursday and greeted U.S. soldiers over a turkey dinner before meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at the airfield’s Air Force headquarters.
    ��MOMENTS AGO��
    President @realDonaldTrump visits U.S. Soldiers at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.... pic.twitter.com/HpHd6PxEqn
    — Dan Scavino Jr.���� (@Scavino45) November 28, 2019

    Following a meeting with Ghani, Trump told reporters that the Taliban “wants to make a deal” and that US officials were "meeting with them." Trump also said that the Taliban was willing to agree to a ceasefire: "The Taliban wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire, and they didn’t want to do a cease-fire and now they want to do a cease-fire - I believe it’ll probably work out that way."
    Trump also said that the US will continue to reduce its troop commitment to the region, from 12,000 now to about 8,600, but would like to go lower without impacting operational duties. “We can go much further than that, but we’ll have it all covered,” Trump said. [That is without a deal, they will all leave with a deal]

    Speaking to the US troops, Trump reiterated that they’re working for a peace deal in Afghanistan. “Rest assured that my administration will always be committed to annihilating terrorists wherever they appear,” he said, adding that he looked forward to the day “when we can bring each and every one of you home and safe to your family, and that day is coming and coming very soon.”

    More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitic...ban-talks-have
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  19. #166
    The top U.S. general said on Wednesday that the chances of a successful outcome from peace talks on ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan were higher than before and could happen in the "near term."Earlier this month the Afghan Taliban released American and Australian university professors held hostage for more than three years, raising hopes for a revival of peace talks.


    Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday, his first trip to the country since taking the top job in September.
    "I think the chances of a positive outcome through negotiations is higher than I have seen, and I've been deeply involved in Afghanistan for 18 years," Milley told reporters.
    "With a bit of luck, we'll have successful negotiations in the near term, not too distant future," Milley said.


    Before the talks were broken off, both sides had said they were close to a deal.
    Two Taliban leaders told Reuters that the group had again been holding meetings with senior U.S. officials in Doha since this weekend, saying they could soon resume the peace process.
    "Our leaders started unofficial meetings with senior U.S. officials in Doha and working on a plan how to resume the peace process," one of the Taliban leaders said.
    Milley said negotiations were "ongoing."

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/chances-succe...184543518.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  20. #167
    The Taliban said on Friday they were ready to restart peace talks with the United States, a day after President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and said he believed the radical group would agree to a ceasefire.

    Taliban leaders have told Reuters that the group has been holding meetings with senior U.S. officials in Doha since last weekend, adding they could soon resume formal peace talks.
    On Friday, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the hardline Islamist insurgent group, said they were "ready to restart the talks" that collapsed after Trump had called them off earlier this year.
    "Our stance is still the same. If peace talks start, it will be resumed from the stage where it had stopped," Mujahid told Reuters.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/trumps-kabul-...062558143.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  21. #168
    Washington’s special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday to launch an “accelerated effort” to get Afghans on both sides of the protracted conflict to the negotiation table to plot a roadmap to a post-war Afghanistan.His next stop will be Doha in the Middle East where he will restart talks with the Taliban, according to a U.S. State Department statement. The talks would be the first official round since September when President Donald Trump declared an all but done deal dead after a surge in violence killed 12 people in the capital, including a U.S. soldier.
    In Kabul on Wednesday, Khalilzad met with several Afghan leaders, including President Ashraf Ghani, who repeated his call for a cease-fire.
    Hekmat Karzai, chairman of the Kabul-based Center for Conflict and Peace Studies, tweeted photographs of his meeting Wednesday with Khalilzad in Kabul, saying they “spoke about the way forward.”
    A Taliban official said the group has held informal talks with the Americans, without specifying where or who participated. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the talks.
    Khalilzad’s visit comes just days after Trump visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the Thanksgiving holiday, when he hinted at a resumption of peace talks with the Taliban.
    Trump said the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in talks and insisted the Taliban want to make a deal after heavy U.S. fire in recent months.
    The State Department statement said Khalilzad’s Kabul and Doha talks are a follow-up to President Trump's recent visit and to discuss how best to support accelerated efforts to get all parties to intra-Afghan negotiations.”
    In Doha, Khalilzad will be pushing for a cease-fire or at least a reduction in violence with an eye to an eventual end to fighting.
    The Taliban official said the U.S. has been pressing for a cease-fire, even a temporary one during the time of an agreement signing. While there has been no formal announcement of a reduction in violence, Taliban attacks at least in the cities appear to have decreased in recent weeks.
    The Taliban quickly denied responsibility for Wednesday’s shooting that killed Japanese Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, as well as five Afghans, including the doctor’s bodyguards, the driver and a passenger.
    Last month, Taliban officials in southern Zabul province announced an unofficial cease-fire in three districts of the province, which they mostly control. The announcement came with the release of hostages Kevin King, an American, and Australian Timothy Weeks in exchange for senior Taliban leaders, including Anas Haqqani.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/us-peace-envo...141201520.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  23. #169
    BREAKING: U.S. have resumed talks with the Taliban – AFP
    — LIVE Breaking News (@NewsBreaking) December 7, 2019
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  24. #170
    President Donald Trump is set to announce the withdrawal of roughly 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan as early as next week, NBC News reported on Saturday based on conversations with three current and former officials.
    This would come as the US is engaged in ongoing, troubled peace talks with the Taliban. The talks resumed in early December after Trump abruptly scrapped negotiations with the Taliban in September, only to be paused again this week after an attack near Bagram Airfield on Wednesday.
    There are currently somewhere between 12,000 to 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan, and withdrawing 4,000 troops would bring total numbers down to somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000. But there's not a clear timeline on when such a withdrawal might begin, nor specific details on how it would be conducted.
    The White House and Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

    The president reportedly wants to withdraw all US troops by November 2020, and pulling 4,000 out in the near future would be a significant step in that direction.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/trump-set-ann...043248150.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  25. #171
    Officials in Afghanistan confirmed Sunday the United States plans to withdraw thousands of troops from the country, insisting the move stemmed from a mutual understanding between the two allied nations.
    Sources in Kabul went on to tell VOA the drawdown process is expected to start in three months, though no official confirmation was available immediately about the timeline.
    On Saturday, U.S. media reported that President Donald Trump's administration intends to announce as early as later this week plans to reduce the number of American forces in Afghanistan by around 4,000.
    A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani insisted the troop reduction plan is not tied to the ongoing peace negotiations between Washington and the Taliban insurgency aimed at ending the 18-year-old war.
    "The matter regarding the withdrawal of 4,000 troops had already been agreed upon in principle between the governments of Afghanistan and the United States," Dawa Khan Meenapal told VOA. He shared no further details.
    Currently around 13,000 U.S. troops are deployed to Afghanistan who are conducting counterterrorism missions in addition to advising and training Afghan security forces battling the Taliban.
    Trump had told an American broadcaster (Fox News Radio) in a recent interview he might reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to around 8,600.
    The withdrawal of foreign forces has been at the center of a peace deal the U.S. has been trying to negotiate with the Taliban for over a year to end America's longest war.

    More at: https://www.globalsecurity.org/milit...1215-voa01.htm
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  26. #172
    Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday he wants to reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan "with or without" a peace agreement in order to give higher priority to strategic competition with China.The Trump administration is expected to announce plans to withdraw around 4,000 troops from Afghanistan, according to US media, after peace talks resumed a week ago between the US and the Taliban.
    Esper told reporters Monday that Austin Miller, the head of the NATO mission and US Forces Afghanistan, "is confident that he can go down to a lower number" of troops.
    Miller "believes he can conduct all the important counter-terrorism missions and train, advise and assist" the Afghan army, Esper said on a plane as he flew back from Belgium, where he had attended the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/esper-wants-c...044605904.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  27. #173
    U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said Monday that President Donald Trump will announce an American troop drawdown from Afghanistan this week, which will likely begin next year.

    Video at: https://news.yahoo.com/senator-us-be...173551108.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  28. #174
    US hope to get a new peace deal with the Taliban that would include a ceasefire seems to be panning out, as the Taliban sent part of its delegation to Pakistan to meet with elders in the movement, and they have endorsed the idea.

    The ceasefire won’t be immediate, or necessarily long-lasting, however. Rather, the ceasefire will come into place for a short-term once
    the US-Taliban deal is finalized. Exactly how long it is to last is unclear.

    A previous peace deal the US was poised to announce was withdrawn from by President Trump at the last minute, reportedly over the lack of a ceasefire. Trump has insisted on a ceasefire this time, and while negotiators weren’t 100% clear they could, the Taliban leaders went along.

    Since the Taliban wanted talks to pick up where they left off last time, they are likely very close to finalizing the deal, though the US temporarily paused it to protest an attack on Bagram.

    https://news.antiwar.com/2019/12/22/...efire-with-us/
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  29. #175
    The Taliban's ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group said. They didn't say when it would begin.A cease-fire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement could be signed. A peace deal would allow the U.S. to bring home its troops from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement there, America's longest.


    The Taliban chief must approve the cease-fire decision but that was expected. The duration of the cease-fire was not specified but it was suggested it would last for 10 days. It was also not specified when the cease-fire would begin.
    Four members of the Taliban negotiating team met for a week with the ruling council before they agreed on the brief cease-fire. The negotiating team returned Sunday to Qatar where the Taliban maintain their political office and where U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been holding peace talks with the religious militia since September, 2018.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/taliban-attac...095027543.html



    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  30. #176
    The Taliban said it believes escalating military tensions between the United States and Iran are unlikely to hurt the insurgent group's negotiations with Washington aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan.
    The first official reaction from the Taliban on January 9 comes a day after Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops, though they did not cause any casualties.
    The attack was a retaliation to Friday's American airstrike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad that killed Iranian military commander, Qasem Soleimani.
    Suhail Shaheen, who speaks for the Taliban's negotiating team, told VOA their meetings with U.S. interlocutors over the past year have brought the two adversaries in the 18-year-old Afghan on the verge of signing a peace deal. He dismissed reported concerns U.S.-Iran tensions threatens the peace initiative.
    "The developments will not have negative impact on the peace process because the (U.S.-Taliban) peace agreement is finalized and only remains to be signed (by the two sides)," Shaheen asserted.
    The progress, he insisted, has been achieved because both the Taliban and the U.S. agree the Afghan conflict could only be settled through peaceful means.


    Insurgent sources say Khalilzad is currently visiting the Qatari capital of Doha, where he has made informal contacts with Taliban representatives to find out whether they are ready to meet his demand for a ceasefire or reduction in the violence.
    Neither Taliban nor U.S. officials have commented on Khalilzad's presence in the Gulf nation, which has played host to the U.S.-Taliban talks since late 2018.

    More at: https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/taliban.../30368795.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  32. #177
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The Taliban's ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group said.



    Was that fakenews ?

    Afghan War: 60 civilians killed/wounded in US drone strike; 2 US troops killed by IED

  33. #178
    The Taliban will implement a 10-day ceasefire with U.S. troops, a reduction in violence with Afghan forces and discussions with Afghan government officials if it reaches an agreement with U.S. negotiators in talks in Doha, two sources have said.If an agreement is reached, the move could revive hopes for a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
    Taliban and U.S. negotiation teams met on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the signing of a peace deal, according to a spokesman for the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar.

    The talks between the two sides were "useful" and would continue for a few days, the spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said in a tweet early on Friday.


    A senior Taliban commander said: "The U.S. wanted us to announce a ceasefire during the peace talks which we had rejected. Our shura (council) has agreed to a ceasefire the day the peace accord is signed."
    Once an agreement for the ceasefire is in place, the Taliban and Afghan government could meet face to face in Germany, said the commander. Previously, the Taliban had refused to engage in talks with the Afghan government.
    "Our representatives have been meeting with the U.S. negotiation team in Doha and they persistently demanded a ceasefire which we had declined due to some issues," the Taliban commander said. "Now most of our reservations have been addressed."
    Another source close to the talks confirmed the commander's version of events.
    A date for the signing of the agreement with the U.S. side has not been fixed, but the Taliban commander said he expected it to be "very soon."

    More at: https://www.yahoo.com/news/taliban-o...051941851.html





    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  34. #179
    The Taliban have given the U.S. envoy their offer for a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan that would last between seven and 10 days, Taliban officials familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.The offer is seen as an opportunity to open a window to an eventual peace deal that would allow the United States to bring home its estimated 13,000 troops and end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, America's longest conflict.
    The cease-fire offer was handed to Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington's envoy for talks with the insurgents, late Wednesday in Qatar, a Gulf Arab country where the Taliban maintain a political office.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/taliban-hande...091102299.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  35. #180
    The Taliban are aiming to reach a withdrawal agreement with the US by the end of January and are prepared to "scale down" military operations ahead of signing the deal, according to their chief spokesman.The statement by Suhail Shaheen to Pakistani daily Dawn comes as the group and the US held discussions in Doha this week, after insurgent sources told AFP they had offered to initiate a brief ceasefire.
    "We have agreed to scale down military operations in days leading up to the signing of the peace agreement with the United States," Shaheen told Dawn in a report published Saturday.
    He added that the Taliban were "optimistic" a deal with Washington could be signed before the end of the month and that the reduction in fighting across the country would also include the targeting of Afghan forces.
    "It's now a matter of days," said the spokesman.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/taliban-aim-s...082905702.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

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