Small Wars Journal

Trump to Meet With Top Advisers to Consider Deal With Taliban

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 3:27pm

Trump to Meet With Top Advisers to Consider Deal With Taliban by Nancy A. Youssef and Craig Nelson - Wall Street Journal

President Trump is meeting with his top national-security advisers Friday afternoon to consider a deal with the Taliban that could lead to a significant U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the end of America’s longest military engagement abroad, U.S. officials said.

Joining the president at his New Jersey golf resort are Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and national security adviser John Bolton.

Among the sticking points of the agreement are whether and how many U.S.-led coalition troops would stay to conduct counterterrorism operations, the pace of the drawdown of troops that were dedicated to battling the Taliban and training Afghan security forces, and how long the coalition would remain in Afghanistan, people familiar with the talks said.

People who have been briefed on the talks said there has been a debate about how detailed an agreement must be and whether the Taliban can be trusted to meet its pledges. The Pentagon has sought a detailed plan while others have said they could accept a broader agreement…

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