On Monday, reports surged, claiming the U.S. is prepared to directly negotiate with the Taliban in an effort to end the 17-year-long Afghanistan war.
MAN, this thing has been going on for a long time.
You hardly hear about it anymore — when George W. Bush was in office, the war was one of the many reasons he was Satan. The press didn’t want Obama to be Satan, so they just shrugged it off.
There are other reasons for its diminished notoriety, but let’s move on…
Reuters reported Monday that General John Nicholson said we’re ready to talk with the infamous Islamic terrorist organization. Nicholson is the highest-ranking commander in Afghanistan and chief of the Resolute Support mission led by NATO. He broke it down:
“Our Secretary of State, Mr. (Mike) Pompeo, has said that we, the United States, are ready to talk to the Taliban and discuss the role of international forces.”
He expressed the need for peace:
“We hope that they realize this, and that this will help to move the peace process forward.”
Later, Nicholson clarified in a statement that his words had been misinterpreted:
“The United States is not a substitute for the Afghan people or the Afghan government. … My reaffirmation of Secretary Pompeo’s statement in which he said peace talks would include a discussion of international forces and that the United States is ready to work with the Taliban, the Afghan government and the Afghan people towards lasting peace was mischaracterized.”
Last week, Pompeo indicated the U.S. would be a willing participant in talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan, but that the U.S. would only take a support position, with the conversation being led by the middle eastern country.
The Taliban have previously rejected offers of peace talks by Afghanistan, insisting they would only talk with the USA.
Late Sunday, The New York Times reported a Trump shift, agreeing to speak directly with the Taliban.
But Army Lt. Colonel Martin O’Donnell, spokesman for Resolute Support, explained that, though the U.S. “is exploring all avenues to advance a peace process in close consultation with the Afghan government…this remains an Afghan-led process.”
Currently, we have 15,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, having added 3,000 via a Trump decision last August.
If indeed the war comes to a close, Donald Trump will surely receive no credit. Obama would’ve been praised. In fact, I’m willing to bet millions believe he did end the war. Indeed, The Guardian reported the following in October 2015:
“’By the end of next year,’ Obama said in early 2013, ‘America’s war in Afghanistan will be over.’”
That end never came — that promise was not kept. But, it seems, when it comes to the mainstream media and politicians’ commitments, only Republicans’ feet are held to the fire. And only Democrats are given credit.
Regardless, I, for one, would like to see our servicemen and servicewomen come home.
What are your thoughts on our long and drawn-out presence? And what of Obama’s immense withdrawal of troops before the November 2012 elections, which critics said undid what many had died for?
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