[pjw] NEWS: Taliban, US sign agreement aimed at ending Afghan war | Al Jazeera 2/29
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sat Feb 29 18:11:22 EST 2020
Hello supporters of peace and justice
I'm dubious about this agreement for the US to withdraw troops from
Afghanistan-- not only because they allegedly withdrew once before, only
to send in more troops (now at 14,000 or so), but also because the Afghan
Government was not a party to these talks or the agreement.
It also could mean that a violation of the terms could be used by the US
as an excuse to step up its military actions to the same or greater level.
That said, let's remove the "who" (wildly unpredictable President Trump)
and look at the "what" and maybe hope somehow this could actually lead to
an end of the occupation of Afghanistan after nearly 18-1/2 years.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
Afghanistan's Taliban, US sign agreement aimed at ending war
Agreement signed in Qatar's capital, Doha, could result in US troops
leaving Afghanistan within 14 months.
by Shereena Qazi 29 Feb 2020 16:01 GMT
Doha, Qatar - US officials and Taliban representatives have signed an
agreement after months of negotiations in Qatar's capital that is aimed
at ending the United States's longest war, fought in Afghanistan since
Saturday's agreement, signed in Doha in the presence of leaders from
Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan,
will pave the way for the US to gradually withdraw its troops.
The two sides have long wrangled over the US demand for a ceasefire
before the signing of the agreement, which has four points: a timeline
of 14 months for the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from
Afghanistan; a Taliban guarantee that Afghan soil will not be used as a
launchpad that would threaten the security of the US; the launch of
intra-Afghan negotiations by March 10; and a permanent and
In a statement, the Taliban said it had reached an agreement "about the
termination of occupation of Afghanistan".
"The accord about the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces from
Afghanistan and never intervening in its affairs in the future is
undoubtedly a great achievement," it added.
Earlier on Saturday, the Taliban ordered all its fighters to halt
fighting and "refrain from attacks".
Mohammed Naeem, a Taliban representative in Doha, described the
agreement as "a step forward".
"With this deal comes the end of war in Afghanistan," he told Al
For his part, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the Taliban
to honour its commitments.
"I know there will be a temptation to declare victory, but victory for
Afghans will only be achieved when they can live in peace and prosper,"
he said at the Doha ceremony.
Minutes before the agreement was signed, a joint statement released by
the US and the Afghan government said the US and NATO troops would
withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months.
About 14,000 US troops and approximately 17,000 troops from 39 NATO
allies and partner countries are stationed in Afghanistan in a
"The United States will reduce the number of US military forces in
Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments in the US-Taliban
agreement within 135 days of the announcement of this joint declaration
and the US-Taliban agreement," the joint statement said.
It added that the Afghan government will engage with the United Nations
Security Council "to remove Taliban members from sanctions list by May
"No agreement is perfect, and the US-Taliban deal is no exception,"
said Robert Malley, president and CEO of the International Crisis
"But it represents the most hopeful step to end a war that has lasted
two decades and taken countless American and especially Afghan lives.
It ought to be celebrated, bolstered and built upon to reach a genuine
The talks were launched in 2018 as part of a push by US President
Donald Trump's administration to strike a deal with the Taliban, which
has been fighting the US-led forces in Afghanistan since it was toppled
from power in 2001.
The agreement also proposes an intra-Afghan dialogue with the
government in Kabul and the release of 5,000 Taliban members from
The Taliban has so far refused to speak to the Western-backed Afghan
government, saying it is a "puppet regime".
The intra-Afghan talks are to begin on March 10 but no specific details
have been given.
A weeklong "reduction in violence" between the Taliban, the US and
Afghan security forces saw a sudden drop in violence and casualties
across the country after taking effect on February 22.
The Taliban now controls or holds influence over more Afghan territory
than at any point since 2001 and has carried out near-daily attacks
against military outposts throughout the country.
The two sides were on the verge of signing a peace agreement in
September when Trump abruptly cancelled the talks after a Taliban
attack killed an American soldier.
Trump has long expressed eagerness to bring US soldiers home and to end
the country's longest war as he seeks re-election in 2020.
More than 100,000 Afghans have been killed or wounded since 2009 when
the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera News
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