Taliban leaders have reacted with open delight, welcoming Trump’s Oct. 7 statement and reportedly telling CBS News that they hoped he will win reelection in November. The group’s top spokesman later said his comment to that effect had been “incorrectly” interpreted, after it set off a frenzy of controversy and was rejected by the White House.
But many Afghans and analysts say they fear that if Trump follows through, abruptly dropping the U.S.-Taliban agreement for a conditions-based and gradual pullout of the about 4,500 remaining U.S. troops by May, the country may plunge again into full-scale war and political mayhem.
“If the withdrawal takes place according to the tweet, it will create chaos. The peace process will collapse, and we will go back to square one,” said Ehsanullah Zia, a former senior Afghan official who heads the Kabul office of the U.S. Institute of Peace. “This is the only thing
The Taliban has welcomed the tweet by President Donald Trump pledging for U.S. troops in Afghanistan to return home before the end of the year, amid concerns that such a move could jeopardize the deal agreed earlier this year aimed at ending two decades of conflict.
Just hours after Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, had said that U.S forces in the country would be halved to 2,500 by early 2021, Trump tweeted on Wednesday: “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!”
The Doha agreement struck in the Qatari capital between the Taliban and the U.S. in February was intended to allow the