The United States and the Taliban have signed a peace settlement aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan, America’s longest.
The signing may assist U.S. President Donald Trump fulfill a key marketing campaign promise to extract America from its “countless wars.” Under the settlement, the U.S. will start withdrawing hundreds of troops in change for Taliban commitments to forestall Afghanistan from being a launchpad for terrorist assaults.
If the Taliban meet their commitments, all U.S. troops would depart in 14 months. U.S. troops are to be withdrawn to eight,600 from about 13,000 in the weeks following Saturday’s signing. Further drawdowns are to depend upon the Taliban assembly sure counter-terrorism circumstances, compliance that will likely be assessed by the United States.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 assaults to overthrow the Taliban, who had hosted Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda as they deliberate and celebrated the assault. Some U.S. troops at present serving there had not but been born when World Trade Center buildings collapsed in New York City on that day.
It solely took a number of months to topple the Taliban and ship Osama bin Laden and prime al-Qaeda militants scrambling throughout the border into Pakistan, however the war dragged on for years because the United States tried set up a secure, functioning state in one of many least developed international locations in the world. The Taliban regrouped, and at present maintain sway over half the nation.
The U.S. spent greater than $750 billion, and on all sides the war value tens of hundreds of lives misplaced, completely scarred and indelibly interrupted. But the battle was additionally regularly ignored by U.S. politicians and the American public.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Saturday for the signing.
Dozens of Taliban members in the meantime held a small victory march in Qatar in which they waved the militant group’s white flags, in keeping with a video shared on Taliban web sites. “Today is the day of victory, which has include the assistance of Allah,” stated Abbas Stanikzai, one of many Taliban’s lead negotiators, who joined the march.
Under the settlement, the Taliban promise to not let extremists use the nation as a staging floor for attacking the U.S. or its allies. But U.S. officers are loath to belief the Taliban to satisfy their obligations.
The prospects for Afghanistan’s future are unsure. The settlement units the stage for peace talks involving Afghan factions, that are more likely to be sophisticated. Under the settlement, 5,000 Taliban are to be launched from Afghan-run jails, but it surely’s not recognized if the Afghan authorities will do this. There are additionally questions on whether or not Taliban fighters loyal to numerous warlords will likely be keen to disarm.