On Friday, the White House made a rather remarkable announcement.
A senior administration official told the Associated Press on Friday that a truce agreement had been reached between the United States and the Taliban across all of Afghanistan.
Massive reduction in violence
The White House thought it was close to getting an agreement in September 2019. That abruptly changed, however, after the Taliban attacked forces in the Baglan province.
President Trump had invited Taliban leaders to Camp David to further the peace talks, but that meeting was canceled. It was later revealed the Taliban ordered the attacks to get leverage in the peace negotiations, but the tactic failed.
Even though the talks were halted at the time, President Trump stated that if the Taliban would respect the talks, he had no problem sitting back down with them.
Obviously, the Taliban came to their senses and the result is this new truce calling for a significant de-escalation of violence in the area.
According to the AP report, the Taliban has agreed to stop roadside and suicide bombings. Additionally, rocket attacks are supposed to cease. As long as the Taliban abides by the stipulations, a U.S.-Taliban peace agreement could be signed inside of the next two weeks.
Getting out of the Middle East
President Trump has always maintained that he wants our troops out of the Middle East as long as it can be stabilized before the US’s departure.
The Taliban and its supporters have maintained that they will not consider peace in the area until the United States begins to withdraw troops.
This agreement, if it actually comes to fruition, will go a long way to making all of that happen. As part of the new deal, the United States will immediately begin to reduce troops in the area as soon as the agreement is signed.
There is also a list of 5,000 Taliban prisoners to be released as part of the agreement.
Per the Associated Press, Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center, stated, “There’s a need for Afghan and U.S. officials to do their due diligence on any Taliban prisoners they’re planning to release, in order to minimize the likelihood that they’ll set free jihadists that can do destabilizing things and undercut a fledgling peace process.