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Wed Feb 6, 2019, 03:46 PM

Taliban Claims U.S. Agreed to Major Afghan Withdrawal in 2 Months


BY TUCKER REALS
UPDATED ON: FEBRUARY 6, 2019 / 11:21 AM / CBS NEWS

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.

more...

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taliban-us-afghanistan-withdrawal-forces-donald-trump-peace-state-of-the-union/

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