Zalmay Khalilzad, President Trump’s special envoy to Afghanistan, revealed this week that the United States and Taliban reached an agreement “in principle” that would bring thousands of American troops home.
Khalilzad told TOLO News that the deal is still pending approval from the president: “Yes, we have reached an agreement in principle. Of course, it is not final until the U.S. president agrees on it. So, at the moment, we are at that stage.”
If President Trump gives the green light, the United States will withdraw 5,000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days so long as the Taliban meets the conditions of the agreement.
According to Khalilzad, conditions include avoiding a return of the Islamic emirate — the fundamentalist Sunni Islamic governing system imposed by the Taliban when in power. “If one side’s ideas are tried to be endorsed by force on the others, the result will be a war,” Khalilzad said.
Since his appointment last September, the negotiator has held nine rounds of talks with the Taliban in Doha and the UAE, with the focus largely on the issues of U.S. forces withdrawal, counterterrorism assurances, a cease-fire, and intra-Afghan negotiations.
The Khalilzad-Taliban talks have excluded the Afghan government. The Taliban has said they will only negotiate a cease-fire with the government and other political forces after U.S. troop withdrawals are finalized.
But the envoy explained that the Afghan government has been consulted on all aspects of the talks, adding that President Ashraf Ghani and Afghanistan CEO Abdullah Abdullah have both read the agreement, although they weren’t given copies. Khalilzad said intra-Afghan talks will begin before the September 28 general elections.
In August, President Trump told Fox News Radio he is planning to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan but keep 8,600 troops there for the time being. He claimed America “could win that war so fast if I wanted to kill ten million people there … which I don’t.”
The president also said that he would send troops back should a terror threat from Afghanistan arise in the future: “I will put this word out, and I’ve already said it, but if they ever did anything from Afghanistan, we will come back with a force like they’ve never seen before.”
The war in Afghanistan is approaching its 18th year. Since the United States sent forces to the Middle Eastern country in response to 9/11, 2,300 American lives have been lost and billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on the conflict. There are currently 14,000 U.S. troops still stationed there in the fight against the Taliban.
The military and neoconservative establishment are opposing a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan.
Last week, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called it “premature” to use the word “withdraw” at this time, emphasizing that he does not want to see Afghanistan become a “sanctuary” for terrorism.
During an interview on Fox & Friends, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said “there will be another 9/11” if the U.S. ends its occupation of Afghanistan. The outspoken Republican, a well-known fixture of the party’s establishment wing, has recommended leaving behind 8,600 troops as a “counter-terrorism force”— the number the president appears to have settled upon.
President Trump has declared his intention of bringing the troops home, but can he trust the people providing him information and negotiating on his behalf?
Zalmay Khalilzad worked closely with Zbigniew Brzezinski (while Brzezinski was in the Carter administration) on the CIA’s Operation Cyclone, which armed and financed Islamic militants against the Soviets.
Khalilzad accepted a one-year fellowship term with the Council on Foreign Relations to join the State Department.
After serving in the Defense Department of George H.W. Bush, he joined the globalist RAND Corporation before becoming (along with future George W. Bush administration officials such as Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz) a signatory of a 1998 letter by the neocon think tank Project for the New American Century (co-founded by Bill Kristol) that called for the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Khalilzad later became ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush, as well as UN Ambassador under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo selected him as U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation last year.
Photo: zabelin / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.