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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Foreign troops to quit Afghanistan in 18 months under draft deal

    Taliban officials said U.S. negotiators on Saturday agreed a draft peace deal setting out the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan within 18 months, potentially ending the United States' longest war.The details of the draft were given to Reuters by Taliban sources at the end of six days of talks with U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar aimed at ending the war, more than 17 years since American-led forces invaded Afghanistan.
    It stipulates that troops would leave within 18 months of the agreement being signed.
    While no joint statement was issued, Khalilzad tweeted later that the talks had made "significant progress" and would resume shortly, adding that he planned to travel to Afghanistan to meet government officials.
    "Meetings here (in Qatar) were more productive than they have been in the past. We have made significant progress on vital issues," he wrote, adding that numerous issues still needed work.
    "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and everything must include an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire," he said in the tweets.
    A U.S. State Department spokesperson declined further comment.
    A Taliban statement issued later also noted progress on troop withdrawal and other issues but said more negotiations and internal consultations were required.
    "The policy of the Islamic Emirate during talks was very clear -- until the issue of withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is agreed upon, progress in other issues is impossible," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, using another name the group calls itself.


    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/round-u-talib...123829256.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

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    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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  3. #2
    This if confirmed as non-fakenews would be huge for cutting foreign spending and reducing national debt among other things.

    This would also help mitigate some neg perception about maga from headline like below and debunk conspiracy theories painting maga as fake front group for foreign-firster neocon lobbies.

    Iraq invasion architect Elliott Abrams quietly slips into Trump administration



    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Since he frequently contradicts himself his statements can't be trusted at all, you have to watch his actions to even guess about his positions or plans.
    BTW, how much trust you have that this plan is more firm than immediate Syria/Iraq exit plans or the "no end in sight to gov shut down" narratives published in media earlier?

  4. #3
    We have to give credit when its due i think!

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    We have to give credit when its due i think!
    We will have to wait and see. He already said he had eliminated the nuclear threat from North Korea and that we would be out of Syria by January 20, 2019.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    We have to give credit when its due i think!
    We will have to wait and see. He already said he had eliminated the nuclear threat from North Korea and that we would be out of Syria by January 20, 2019.
    Now, Zippy. Did he say credit was already due?
    Quote Originally Posted by UWDude View Post
    We could pay off the debt with the money raised from live broadcast executions.

    Be just like 1984. Truckloads of em, people betting on which one gets shot first, all sorts of fun stuff
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I don't really care if I happen to be wrong about your positions, you are wrong about mine.
    A POX ON BOTH YOUR PARTIES

  7. #6
    U.S. President Donald Trump’s top reconciliation envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban have confirmed the existence of the draft peace pact.

    The Taliban has committed to preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups like its ally al-Qaeda and rival ISIS, Khalilzad told the New York Times (NYT) on Monday.
    An unnamed Taliban source who attended the latest round of talks in Qatar on Saturday, the day the two sides reportedly “agreed” on the draft peace accord, told BBC the negotiators agreed to form two panels to come up with a detailed plan on how to implement the agreements.
    The committees would “identify routes for the withdrawal, and how much time is needed. We suggested six months, but are flexible,” the Taliban source told BBC.
    In its latest assessment of the war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon noted:
    The United States has a single vital national interest in Afghanistan: to prevent it from becoming a safe-haven from which terrorist groups can plan and execute attacks against the U.S. homeland, U.S. citizens, and our interests and allies abroad. Our ultimate goal in Afghanistan is a negotiated political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
    The Trump administration has described the “political reconciliation” between Kabul and the Taliban as a “victory” for the United States, ultimately admitting that a military win is unattainable.
    Reuters learned from its Taliban source that more discussions on the draft are expected to take place February, again in the Qatari capital of Doha, home to the group’s political office.
    Citing the Taliban sources, Reuters confirms:
    [T]he hard-line Islamic group gave assurances that Afghanistan will not be allowed to be used by al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants to attack the United States and its allies — a key early demand of Washington.
    They said the deal included a ceasefire provision but they had yet to confirm a timeline and would only open talks with Afghan representatives once a truce was implemented.
    So far, the Taliban has repeatedly refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government, dismissing it as a “puppet” of the U.S. The Taliban considers itself the only legitimate government of Afghanistan.
    Referring to the draft peace pact, Reuters adds:
    The Taliban sources said other clauses in the draft include an agreement over the exchange and release of prisoners, the removal of an international travel ban on several Taliban leaders by Washington and the prospect of an interim Afghan government after the ceasefire is struck.
    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who has officially registered to run for president during the July 20 elections, has repeatedly objected to the formation of an interim government. While briefing Ghani on the negotiations, Khalilzad reportedly denied that the U.S. discussed the prospect of an interim government.
    “The Taliban sources also confirmed provisions in the draft that have broader implications for Afghanistan’s ties with its neighbors, particularly Pakistan, India and China,” Reuters further notes, without elaborating further.
    Via Twitter on Saturday, the day the two sides reportedly “agreed” on the draft accord, Khalilzad acknowledged that the talks in Qatar over the weekend made “significant progress.”
    He noted that negotiations would resume shortly.
    “Meetings here were more productive than they have been in the past. We have made significant progress on vital issues,” he wrote, conceding that the U.S. and the Taliban still need to hash out various issues.
    “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and everything must include an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire,” he tweeted.
    1/3 After six days in Doha, I'm headed to #Afghanistan for consultations. Meetings here were more productive than they have been in the past. We made significant progress on vital issues.
    — U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) January 26, 2019
    On Sunday, Khalilzad briefed President Ghani in Kabul “on the progress” in the peace negotiations, the envoy tweeted on Monday.
    Briefed President @ashrafghani last night on the progress we've made. Peace is America's highest priority in #Afghanistan, a goal we believe all Afghans share. pic.twitter.com/vwrxfnhIWd
    — U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) January 28, 2019
    Khalilzad also confirmed the existence of the draft accord in an interview with NYT on Monday, telling the newspaper in Kabul:
    We have a draft of the framework that has to be fleshed out before it becomes an agreement. The Taliban have committed, to our satisfaction, to do what is necessary that would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals. We felt enough confidence that we said we need to get this fleshed out, and details need to be worked out.
    According to the Pentagon, the Afghanistan-Pakistan region is home to the highest concentration (20) of terrorist groups in the world.
    On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the top American peace envoy’s boss, noted on Twitter that he had received “encouraging news” from Khalilzad about the discussions.
    “The U.S. is serious about pursuing peace, preventing #Afghanistan from continuing to be a space for international terrorism & bringing forces home,” Pompeo tweeted, without providing a timetable for the potential withdrawal of American forces.
    Encouraging news from @US4AfghanPeace. He reports significant progress in talks with the Taliban on #Afghanistan reconciliation.
    — Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 26, 2019
    The Taliban also acknowledged progress on its long-sought goal of foreign troop withdrawal and other issues in its statement issued Saturday, noting that more negotiations and internal consultations are needed.

    More at: https://www.breitbart.com/middle-eas...raw-18-months/
    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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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. #7
    That gets us out just under 20 years and it would never have happened with a Dem as president .
    Do something Danke

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    That gets us out just under 20 years and it would never have happened with a Dem as president .
    Also just in time before 2020 election season starts to distract MAGA leadership.
    If out of Syria and Iraq also in 18 months, this could be even bigger win for MAGA/GOP-Adelson and a big defeat for Bolton, ZOA wings etc. After recent "political defeat" narrative being pushed in media over Wall/gov shut end, MAGA can use some psoitive news right now even if actual exits will be in 18 months.

    That said, assuming above is not fakenews, is it wise to annoouce troops exits timelines in advance?






    Trump, who warned against telegraphing military action in Syria, telegraphs military action in Syria — again

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ilitary-moves/





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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by enhanced_deficit View Post
    Also just in time before 2020 election season starts to distract MAGA leadership.

    If out of Syria and Iraq also in 18 months also, this could be even bigger win for MAGA/GOP-Adelson and a bif defeat for Bolton, ZOA wings etc.
    If he gets out of Syria , Afghanistan by 2020 that presidency alone is a success by modern standards . That will be two of three places we have pulled out of since Ike left office .
    Do something Danke

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    That gets us out just under 20 years and it would never have happened with a Dem as president .
    Obama pulled us out of Iraq and a LOT of republicans cried foul. Rand Paul, of course was an exception as was Ted Cruz who said that we should have left sooner. Trump was critical of the pullout. Which reminds me. We're still there.

    https://www.apnews.com/ab00e32b094b4684a15ef55765d98311
    BAGHDAD (AP) — President Donald Trump’s surprise trip to Iraq may have quieted criticism at home that he had yet to visit troops in a combat zone, but it has infuriated Iraqi politicians who on Thursday demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

    “Arrogant” and “a violation of national sovereignty” were but a few examples of the disapproval emanating from Baghdad following Trump’s meeting Wednesday with U.S. servicemen and women at the al-Asad Airbase.

    Trips by U.S. presidents to conflict zones are typically shrouded in secrecy and subject to strict security measures, and Trump’s was no exception. Few in Iraq or elsewhere knew the U.S. president was in the country until minutes before he left.


    But this trip came as curbing foreign influence in Iraqi affairs has become a hot-button political issue in Baghdad, and Trump’s perceived presidential faux-pas was failing to meet with the prime minister in a break with diplomatic custom for any visiting head of state.

    On the ground for only about three hours, the American president told the men and women with the U.S. military that Islamic State forces have been vanquished, and he defended his decision against all advice to withdraw U.S. troops from neighboring Syria, He said the U.S. was once again respected as a nation, and declared: “We’re no longer the suckers, folks.”

    The abruptness of his visit left lawmakers in Baghdad smarting and drawing unfavorable comparisons to the occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

    “Trump needs to know his limits. The American occupation of Iraq is over,” said Sabah al-Saidi, the head of one of two main blocs in Iraq’s parliament.

    Trump, he said, had slipped into Iraq, “as though Iraq is a state of the United States.”

    While Trump didn’t meet with any officials, he spoke with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi by phone. A planned meeting between the two leaders was canceled over a “difference in points of view” over arrangements, according to the prime minister’s office.

    The visit could have unintended consequences for American policy, with officials from both sides of Iraq’s political divide calling for a vote in Parliament to expel U.S. forces from the country.

    The president, who kept to the U.S. air base approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad, said he had no plans to withdraw the 5,200 troops in the country. He said Ain al-Asad could be used for U.S. air strikes inside Syria.


    The suggestion ran counter to the current sentiment of Iraqi politics, which favors claiming sovereignty over foreign and domestic policy and staying above the fray in regional conflicts.

    “Iraq should not be a platform for the Americans to settle their accounts with either the Russians or the Iranians in the region,” said Hakim al-Zamili, a senior lawmaker in al-Saidi’s Islah bloc in Parliament.

    U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq as part of the coalition against the Islamic State group. American forces withdrew in 2011 after invading in 2003 but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the Iraqi government to help fight the jihadist group. Trump’s visit was the first by a U.S. president since Barack Obama met with then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at a U.S. base outside Baghdad in 2009.

    After defeating IS militants in their last urban bastions last year, Iraqi politicians and militia leaders are speaking out against the continued presence of U.S. forces on Iraqi soil.

    Supporters of the populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr won big in national elections in May, campaigning on a platform to curb U.S. and rival Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs. Al-Sadr’s lawmakers now form the core of the Islah bloc, which is headed by al-Saidi in Parliament.

    The rival Binaa bloc, commanded by politicians and militia leaders close to Iran, also does not favor the U.S.

    Qais Khazali, the head of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia that fought key battles against IS in northern Iraq, promised on Twitter that Parliament would vote to expel U.S. forces from Iraq, or the militias would force them out by “other means.”

    Khazali was jailed by British and U.S. forces from 2007 to 2010 for managing sections of the Shia insurgency against the occupation during those years.

    Trump’s visit would be a “great moral boost to the political parties, armed factions, and others who oppose the American presence in Iraq,” Iraqi political analyst Ziad al-Arar said.

    Still, the U.S. and Iraq developed considerable military and intelligence ties in the war against IS, and they continue to pay off in operations against militants gone into hiding.

    Earlier in the month, Iraqi forces called in an airstrike by U.S.-coalition forces to destroy a tunnel used by IS militants in the Atshanah mountains in north Iraq. Four militants were killed, according to the coalition.

    A hasty departure of U.S. forces would jeopardize such arrangements, said Iraqi analyst Hamza Mustafa.

    Relations between the U.S. and Iraq also extend beyond military ties. U.S. companies have considerable interests in Iraq’s petrochemical industry, and American diplomats are often brokers between Iraq’s fractious political elite.

    Iraq’s Sunni politicians have been largely quiet about the presidential visit, reflecting the ties they have cultivated with the U.S. to counterbalance the might of the country’s Iran-backed and predominantly-Shiite militias.

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Abdul-Mahdi accepted Trump’s invitation to the White House during their call, though the prime minister’s office has so far refused to confirm that.
    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdrake View Post
    Obama pulled us out of Iraq and a LOT of republicans cried foul. Rand Paul, of course was an exception as was Ted Cruz who said that we should have left sooner. Trump was critical of the pullout. Which reminds me. We're still there.

    https://www.apnews.com/ab00e32b094b4684a15ef55765d98311
    BAGHDAD (AP) — President Donald Trump’s surprise trip to Iraq may have quieted criticism at home that he had yet to visit troops in a combat zone, but it has infuriated Iraqi politicians who on Thursday demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

    “Arrogant” and “a violation of national sovereignty” were but a few examples of the disapproval emanating from Baghdad following Trump’s meeting Wednesday with U.S. servicemen and women at the al-Asad Airbase.

    Trips by U.S. presidents to conflict zones are typically shrouded in secrecy and subject to strict security measures, and Trump’s was no exception. Few in Iraq or elsewhere knew the U.S. president was in the country until minutes before he left.


    But this trip came as curbing foreign influence in Iraqi affairs has become a hot-button political issue in Baghdad, and Trump’s perceived presidential faux-pas was failing to meet with the prime minister in a break with diplomatic custom for any visiting head of state.

    On the ground for only about three hours, the American president told the men and women with the U.S. military that Islamic State forces have been vanquished, and he defended his decision against all advice to withdraw U.S. troops from neighboring Syria, He said the U.S. was once again respected as a nation, and declared: “We’re no longer the suckers, folks.”

    The abruptness of his visit left lawmakers in Baghdad smarting and drawing unfavorable comparisons to the occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

    “Trump needs to know his limits. The American occupation of Iraq is over,” said Sabah al-Saidi, the head of one of two main blocs in Iraq’s parliament.

    Trump, he said, had slipped into Iraq, “as though Iraq is a state of the United States.”

    While Trump didn’t meet with any officials, he spoke with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi by phone. A planned meeting between the two leaders was canceled over a “difference in points of view” over arrangements, according to the prime minister’s office.

    The visit could have unintended consequences for American policy, with officials from both sides of Iraq’s political divide calling for a vote in Parliament to expel U.S. forces from the country.

    The president, who kept to the U.S. air base approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad, said he had no plans to withdraw the 5,200 troops in the country. He said Ain al-Asad could be used for U.S. air strikes inside Syria.


    The suggestion ran counter to the current sentiment of Iraqi politics, which favors claiming sovereignty over foreign and domestic policy and staying above the fray in regional conflicts.

    “Iraq should not be a platform for the Americans to settle their accounts with either the Russians or the Iranians in the region,” said Hakim al-Zamili, a senior lawmaker in al-Saidi’s Islah bloc in Parliament.

    U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq as part of the coalition against the Islamic State group. American forces withdrew in 2011 after invading in 2003 but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the Iraqi government to help fight the jihadist group. Trump’s visit was the first by a U.S. president since Barack Obama met with then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at a U.S. base outside Baghdad in 2009.

    After defeating IS militants in their last urban bastions last year, Iraqi politicians and militia leaders are speaking out against the continued presence of U.S. forces on Iraqi soil.

    Supporters of the populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr won big in national elections in May, campaigning on a platform to curb U.S. and rival Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs. Al-Sadr’s lawmakers now form the core of the Islah bloc, which is headed by al-Saidi in Parliament.

    The rival Binaa bloc, commanded by politicians and militia leaders close to Iran, also does not favor the U.S.

    Qais Khazali, the head of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia that fought key battles against IS in northern Iraq, promised on Twitter that Parliament would vote to expel U.S. forces from Iraq, or the militias would force them out by “other means.”

    Khazali was jailed by British and U.S. forces from 2007 to 2010 for managing sections of the Shia insurgency against the occupation during those years.

    Trump’s visit would be a “great moral boost to the political parties, armed factions, and others who oppose the American presence in Iraq,” Iraqi political analyst Ziad al-Arar said.

    Still, the U.S. and Iraq developed considerable military and intelligence ties in the war against IS, and they continue to pay off in operations against militants gone into hiding.

    Earlier in the month, Iraqi forces called in an airstrike by U.S.-coalition forces to destroy a tunnel used by IS militants in the Atshanah mountains in north Iraq. Four militants were killed, according to the coalition.

    A hasty departure of U.S. forces would jeopardize such arrangements, said Iraqi analyst Hamza Mustafa.

    Relations between the U.S. and Iraq also extend beyond military ties. U.S. companies have considerable interests in Iraq’s petrochemical industry, and American diplomats are often brokers between Iraq’s fractious political elite.

    Iraq’s Sunni politicians have been largely quiet about the presidential visit, reflecting the ties they have cultivated with the U.S. to counterbalance the might of the country’s Iran-backed and predominantly-Shiite militias.

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Abdul-Mahdi accepted Trump’s invitation to the White House during their call, though the prime minister’s office has so far refused to confirm that.
    We are still in Iraq.
    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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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

  14. #12
    Good.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  15. #13
    Russia will host a day-long summit on Feb. 5 between a Taliban delegation and Afghan politicians, including former President Hamid Karzai, although no representatives from President Ashraf Ghani's administration will attend, Reuters reported Jan. 31.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...an-politicians
    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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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. #14
    With all due respect, 18 months is not enough. If we can't execute a withdrawal in ~3 months tops, we're probably not planning on leaving at all.

  17. #15
    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has offered to negotiate ways to minimize the costs of keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan amid concern that U.S. forces will pull out of the region prematurely, a new report says.
    Although Ghani did not include specific proposals for how to cut costs of U.S. troops and contractors in Afghanistan, his letter to President Trump dated Monday says the objective is “maximum effectiveness to aid efficiency.” He also requested Trump visit Afghanistan soon to “discuss a mutually beneficial path forward toward lasting peace and increased security for both of our countries and peoples,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

    “While the Afghan government remains a steadfast and committed partner to the United States in the pursuit of our shared security and peace objectives, we are aware of the recent changes in the context of our relationships and a seeming shift in U.S. priorities and objectives in our country and the region,” Ghani wrote in the letter.

    More at: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...troops-to-stay

    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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has offered to negotiate ways to minimize the costs of keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan amid concern that U.S. forces will pull out of the region prematurely, a new report says.
    Although Ghani did not include specific proposals for how to cut costs of U.S. troops and contractors in Afghanistan, his letter to President Trump dated Monday says the objective is “maximum effectiveness to aid efficiency.” He also requested Trump visit Afghanistan soon to “discuss a mutually beneficial path forward toward lasting peace and increased security for both of our countries and peoples,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

    “While the Afghan government remains a steadfast and committed partner to the United States in the pursuit of our shared security and peace objectives, we are aware of the recent changes in the context of our relationships and a seeming shift in U.S. priorities and objectives in our country and the region,” Ghani wrote in the letter.

    More at: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...troops-to-stay

    Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday that no peace deal between the Taliban and the United States could be finalised without involving his government as "the decision-maker".Ghani's government has so far been shut out of the evolving peace talks between Taliban negotiators and U.S. envoys to end more than 17 years of war, with the hardline Islamist movement branding his government as a U.S. puppet.
    His made his remarks in a television interview as Afghan opposition politicians, including his predecessor Hamid Karzai, meet Taliban representatives in Moscow.
    "At the end of any peace deal, the decision-maker will be the government of Afghanistan," Ghani told TOLO News, the country's largest private television station.
    "No power in the country can dissolve the government," he said, adding that he was ready to "stand and defend our country".
    "Rest assured that no-one can push us aside," he said.
    With both sides hailing progress in talks in Qatar last month, U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is due to meet Taliban representatives there again on Feb. 25.
    Ghani's comments are some of the most extensive since he met Khalilzad in Kabul last week following the last round of talks.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/afghan-presid...182552094.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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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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  20. #17
    Representatives from the Taliban and prominent Afghan politicians, including former President Hamid Karzai, are meeting in Moscow to discuss attempts to end the ongoing 17-year war in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Feb. 4.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...t-moscow-talks
    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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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. #18
    18 months seems like an odd timeline, given the "now" withdrawal from Syria. What could be the reason for that date, I wonder...
    "The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
    H. L. Mencken


    I don't hate you. You're just some person on the internet who believes in things that aren't real.

  22. #19
    A lot can happen in a year and a half, plenty of reasons to stay, but I like this
    a lot better than ''time to start.........bringing troops home'' .

  23. #20
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taliban...-of-the-union/

    Taliban claims U.S. agreed to major Afghan withdrawal in 2 months


    President Trump has made clear his desire to extricate the U.S. military from the "endless" war in Afghanistan. He touted "constructive talks" the U.S. has been conducting with the Taliban during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Mr. Trump said, "we do not know whether we will achieve an agreement -- but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace."


    The pace of any U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has been a major point of discussion -- and concern -- given the strength the Taliban still wields and the group's well-established history of hosting terror groups.

    On Wednesday, the TaIiban claimed the Trump administration had agreed to pull half of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan out of the country in just a couple months. The U.S. government denies that any timeline for a withdrawal has been agreed yet with the Taliban.

    The direct U.S. talks with the Taliban are a key aspect of a multi-pronged dialogue the Islamic extremist group has engaged in with virtually every party that has a vested interest -- with the notable and problematic exception of the Afghan government.

    Afghan peace talks without the Afghans

    Negotiations are ongoing this week in Russia, where Taliban officials are sitting down with representatives from Afghanistan -- but from not from the government. The Taliban considers the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani a puppet regime controlled by the U.S., and thus refuses to speak with it.
    One report says half out by April. Says start leaving this month. No indication of that. State Department says no timeline.

    https://abcnews.go.com/beta-story-co...ry?id=60884193

    "The Americans have agreed to us that half of American forces will start leaving from beginning of February till end of April," Hanafi told reporters Wednesday, saying the promise had been made during breakthrough talks with U.S. negotiators in Qatar's capital Doha last month, which he had taken part in.

    A State Department spokesperson though disputed that, telling ABC News, “We have not agreed to any timeline for a possible drawdown of troops and are not going to get into any other specific details of diplomatic conversations."

    Hanafi's comments come a week after Taliban and U.S. negotiators at the Doha talks announced that they had in principle agreed to a framework for a deal which could potentially lead to full peace talks, raising hopes that an end to Afghanistan's 18-year war could be closer. Under that deal, the Taliban would pledge that Afghanistan would never become a base for international terrorist groups again, allowing the U.S. to make a full withdrawal of its troops. The U.S. has said that for a full withdrawal to take place, the insurgent group would also have to agree to a cease-fire and start direct negotiations with Afghanistan's government.
    On the other hand, Trump said he wanted out of Syria in 30 days- that ended January 20th.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 02-06-2019 at 08:23 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  24. #21
    The news crawl just said the timeline is to have 7000 troops out of Afghanistan by the end of April. That’s about half, and a pretty good start, if you ask me.
    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it”~~ Frederic Bastiat

  25. #22
    Idiots on Fox News used to bash Ron Paul hard for talking withdrawal.

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by gaazn View Post
    Idiots on Fox News used to bash Ron Paul hard for talking withdrawal.
    That's because they correctly believed that he actually meant it ...


    Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law." - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

    · tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito ·
    MOFA (Make Orwell Fiction Again)

  27. #24
    The United States is hoping Afghanistan can strike a peace agreement including the Taliban before elections scheduled for July, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said on Friday."It will be better for Afghanistan if we could get a peace agreement before the election, which is scheduled in July," the negotiator said, adding that there remained "a lot of work" to do.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/us-envoy-tali...164740320.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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  29. #25
    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday offered the Taliban the possibility of opening an office in Afghanistan but the proposal was swiftly spurned by the group that is determined to keep his government out of accelerating peace talks.Ghani has expressed alarm at the Taliban shutting his administration out of negotiations with the United States as well as recent Moscow talks with Afghan opposition politicians, and repeated earlier offers to give the group a secure official address to aid any future diplomacy between the two sides.
    "If the Taliban want an office, I will give it to them in Kabul, Nangarhar or Kandahar by tomorrow," Ghani said while visiting the province of Nangarhar, a hotbed of insurgent violence on the border with Pakistan.
    "We will bring a lasting and honorable peace to the country," he said.
    Nangarhar is a stronghold of the Taliban, the hardline Islamist movement that now controls or contests districts across nearly half the country, more than 17 years since they were toppled from power.
    Taliban officials in Moscow last week stressed the importance of a formal office among a string of demands that included the removal of Western sanctions and travel bans on Taliban members, prisoner releases and an end to "propaganda" against the group.
    Taliban spokesman Sohail Shahin later told Reuters that the focus was international recognition of their existing site in Doha, Qatar.
    On Sunday he said Ghani was trying to harm the peace efforts with his latest offer.
    "Our demand about having an official political office is clear, we want that our office in Doha is recognized by the international community and the United Nations," Shahin said.
    "By this, Ghani is trying to change the topic and harm the on-going peace efforts."
    Taliban negotiators are due to meet U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad for another round of talks in Qatar on Feb. 25. The State Department said on Saturday that Khalilzad would spend the rest of the month traveling to Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan and Pakistan to work on Afghan peace process.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/afghan-presid...135810659.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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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. #26
    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is likely to meet Afghan Taliban representatives during his visit to Pakistan starting on Sunday, Pakistani government sources said, part of efforts to broker an end to Afghanistan's 17-year-old civil war.Pakistan has been playing an increasingly vital role in the Afghanistan peace talks, which have been gathering momentum in recent months amid a growing U.S. desire to pull out its troops.
    Along with other Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia has been part of the peace negotiations and is seen to have some sway over the Afghan Taliban militants due to Riyadh's historical ties with the hardline Islamist group and the kingdom's religious clout as the birthplace of Islam.
    Two senior Pakistani officials said the crown prince was likely to meet Afghan Taliban representatives in Islamabad, where the militants, fighting to restore strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan after their 2001 ouster, say they are due to meet U.S. representatives and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
    "Though it is top secret so far, there are strong indications representatives of the Afghan Taliban will meet Prince Salman during their visit of Pakistan on February 18," one of the Pakistani officials in Islamabad said.
    A senior Taliban leader in Qatar said no decision had been made on whether they would meet the crown prince.
    "Actually meeting Prince Salman is not in the plan so far but we can discuss it when we are in Islamabad," said the Taliban representative.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/afghan-taliba...072807536.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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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

  31. #27
    The United States has ended its anti-narcotics airstrike campaign in Afghanistan to curb the Taliban's ability to raise revenue by taxing opium production, Time reported Feb. 21.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...ban-opium-labs
    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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The United States has ended its anti-narcotics airstrike campaign in Afghanistan to curb the Taliban's ability to raise revenue by taxing opium production, Time reported Feb. 21.

    More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...ban-opium-labs

    I'm pretty sure you've seen this clip of our troops protecting the biggest
    heroin business in the world, but hey, we kill em' we partner with them
    lots of fun. It's all in good sport.

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Stratovarious View Post
    I'm pretty sure you've seen this clip of our troops protecting the biggest
    heroin business in the world, but hey, we kill em' we partner with them
    lots of fun. It's all in good sport.
    Yup, I'm just hoping that this is part of the withdrawal.
    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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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. #30
    American and Taliban officials looking to end a 17-year war in Afghanistan began their most detailed and high-level discussions yet on foreign troop withdrawals and counter-terrorism on Tuesday, officials close to the peace negotiations said.

    The talks, which kicked off in Doha on Monday with a meet-and-greet lunch, are seen as the most promising yet between the warring parties after the Taliban’s newly-appointed political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar joined for the first time, flying in from Pakistan.

    The two sides are looking to hammer out a timeline and logistics for a potential troop withdrawal, as well as guarantees that the Taliban will not host militant groups as the US winds down its presence, sources close to the talks said.

    “The Taliban knows foreign forces are committed to withdrawal, but we have the responsibility to ensure that Afghanistan does not get used as a base to launch terror attacks on foreign nations,” one of the officials said.

    Some 14,000 US troops are based in Afghanistan as part of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces. Some US forces also carry out counter-terrorism operations.

    US military officials have been brought in to join this week’s talks in Doha, a second official said, raising hopes for progress after the last round in January secured a broad framework agreement but few details on critical aspects of a ceasefire and withdrawal.

    “We have all the right people in the room on both sides,” the second official said.

    More at: https://english.alarabiya.net/en/New...ace-talks.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 mankind…it’s people I can’t 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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