UPDATED 1:10 PM PT — Thursday, January 31, 2019
President Trump is floating a possible withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 18-years of fighting. In a statement Thursday,the president said he would pull out of Afghanistan if the Taliban and the Afghan government are able to reach a peace agreement.
President Trump said he’s optimistic of the progress achieved in the ongoing peace negotiations.
Some experts are saying several joint U.S.-Afghan operations over the past year have decimated the Taliban’s ability to stage major attacks. However, the Pentagon has warned the Taliban maintains control over large parts of Afghanistan.
“I can’t tell you that this is a guarantee, because we’re going into close to 19-years of being in Afghanistan and for the first time they’re talking about settling, they’re talking about making an agreement, and we bring our people back home if that happens,” stated President Trump “We’ll see what happens, but they’re in very serious negotiations for the first time — there’s a reason for that.”
Meanwhile, a U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan said the sides have agreed on a general view of the future peace accord. However, officials have said the Taliban has yet to accept U.S. demands to disarm and cease terror-activity.