To Slow U.S. Exit, Afghan Leader Offers Trump a Cost Reduction by Mujib Mashal – New York Times
Unnerved by fears of a rushed American deal with Taliban insurgents, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan sent a letter on Tuesday to President Trump offering him reduced costs for keeping United States troops in the country.
The letter, confirmed by three officials and described by one who had seen its contents, is among the strongest signs yet that Mr. Ghani is worried about the consequences of an abrupt American withdrawal from an intractable war that has lasted nearly two decades.
Mr. Ghani has made no secret of his concern about a hasty American exit by an increasingly impatient Mr. Trump, fearing it could unravel the fragile Afghan state and lead to a renaissance in power by the Taliban, which have been steadily gaining territory.
The Afghan leader’s anxiety has punctuated the contrast between the political backdrop in Afghanistan and the circumstances of the American pullout from the other conflict that arose after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — the American-led war in Iraq…