Small Wars Journal

Divided White House Prompted Trump to Call Off Taliban Talks

Divided White House Prompted Trump to Call Off Taliban Talks by Jessica Donati, Michael C. Bender and Craig Nelson – Wall Street Journal

President Trump ’s decision to suspend talks with the Taliban stemmed from opposing views within his administration, the group’s refusal to meet certain conditions and growing bipartisan criticism of an emerging deal to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Even after the chief U.S. diplomat to the Afghan peace process outlined an agreement in principle with the Taliban, the president himself turned down opportunities to sign off on one, according to a person familiar with the internal deliberations.

Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has also consistently opposed making a deal with the Taliban, aides said. Mr. Bolton has advised that the president can make good on his promise to draw down troops in Afghanistan without agreeing to one. That option, Mr. Bolton has said, gives the president flexibility to revisit talks in the future…

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