Plan for a U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan Takes Shape - But Will it Stick? By Tara Copp – Military Times
Negotiations that would lead to a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan continue to advance, but are a long way from completion, the top U.S. envoy to U.S.-Taliban peace talks said Friday.
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace that ongoing discussions with the Taliban have so far focused on the top two priorities of both parties, and have led to an agreement “in principle” on those issues.
For the U.S., the priority was securing a commitment from the Taliban that it would never again allow a terrorist group to use Afghanistan as a staging ground to attack the U.S. or its allies, and an agreement in principle was reached on that issue.
For the Taliban, "with regard to troops, that was their most important issue,” Khalilzad said. As part of these initial talks, “we have agreed in principle on a framework for possible U.S. withdrawal,” Khalilzad said…