For 9/11 Families, Mixed Views on Trump-Taliban Talks

A man enters the press area of the White House at dusk Saturday Sept. 7 2019 in Washington. On Saturday Sept. 7 2019 President Donald Trump tweeted he has called off a secret Camp David meeting with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders

The insurgents' determination to step up both attacks on provincial centres and suicide bombings even as peace talks were taking place was a key factor in pushing Trump to cancel talks days after a USA soldier was killed in the capital Kabul.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended Trump's weekend moves. The goal was to finalize a deal under which the USA would effectively pull out of Afghanistan, leaving it to the Taliban's tender mercies. Last week, both Taliban and Khalilzad indicated that the deal was nearly final and could soon be signed into a legal document. "As far as I'm concerned, they're dead", Trump told reporters when asked about the talks as he left the White House for a trip to North Carolina.

Under the agreement in principle that the US and the Taliban had worked out, the USA would withdraw about 5,000 of the 14,000 American troops in the country within 4½ months, and the insurgents would agree to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a launch pad for global terror attacks by al-Qaida and others. "We have to see them be able to deliver it".

"Yeah, we'd like to get out", he said. "First of all, I think like most Americans I don't know what to believe anymore that comes out of the mouth or the tweet of this president".

"We've been policemen there for a long time, and the government's going to have to take responsibility", Trump said.

Pulling out of the peace process before the signing of the agreement - because of one explosion - showed the US's lack of maturity and experience, he added. The U.S. reached out to the Taliban in 2018 and serious negotiations began in Qatar in January. Before the cancellation, some officials said they hoped momentum in the talks would result in the elections being delayed.

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The process and product of President Donald Trump's policy on Afghanistan is deeply flawed. They were just hours from that meeting, and then he called it off because of that attack in Kabul.

Ghani, who was sidelined from months of negotiations between US officials and Taliban representatives, had been deeply suspicious of the talks, which sought to agree a timetable for a withdrawal of thousands of USA troops. "We want to make sure always we have the right number of forces".

According to the president, if the Taliban 'cannot accept a cease-fire during these important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don't have the power to negotiate an agreement. But he said if they are cut by about 5,000, as the president suggested, that the US could still continue the mission - train Afghan forces, go after ISIS as well as the Taliban - again, continue the current mission.

"Its credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase".

IL congressman and Air Force veteran Adam Kinzinger (R) slammed President Donald Trump for entertaining the idea of hosting the Taliban at Camp David for peace talks. "I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations". "And sadly, you often have to deal with some pretty bad characters to get peace".

Despite a Taliban statement this February that said the group is "committed to all rights of women", locals in Badakhshan have said that, in the parts of the province controlled by the group, girls aren't allowed to go to school after sixth grade.

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