Blast near US Embassy in Kabul marks early hours of 9/11 anniversary
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Sep 12, 2019,
Sep 12, 2019, 0:28
In the almost 18 years of fighting since then, the number of US troops in Afghanistan soared to 100,000 and dropped dramatically after bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan in 2011.
It was the first major attack in the Afghan capital since President Donald Trump abruptly called off U.S. -Taliban talks over the weekend, on the brink of an apparent deal to end America's longest war.
The proposed meeting came after nine rounds of talks between USA and Taliban negotiators in Doha. Trump has cited the death of a U.S. service member in one of those blasts as the reason why he now calls the U.S. -Taliban talks "dead".
Comments today from the USA president and his administration on the 9/11 anniversary may signal where the direction of future talks will go.
In their response to Trump, the Taliban claimed they were ready to begin the "intra-Afghan talks" on September 23, and warned that his announcement of "an end to negotiations... will harm America more than anyone else..."
Under a peace deal, the US would have withdrawn its troops mainly in exchange for Taliban assurances that it will not allow Afghanistan to become a haven for terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
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However Trump denied any discord amongst authorities members together with Vice President Mike Pence.
"Actually, in terms of advisors, I took my own advice".
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Kugelman tells VOA that it plays much better politically for Trump to leave Afghanistan with some type of deal than with no deal at all.
Despite a fiercely pro-Israeli foreign policy and the presence of hawks like National Security Adviser John Bolton in his Cabinet, he has so far resisted escalating the military standoff with longtime foe Iran. The government has been fighting the Taliban, which has been waging a war against Kabul for nearly two decades.
It's broadly thought that Trump has been pushing for a withdrawal of United States troops in time for his 2020 reelection bid. Trump said he was cancelling a "secret" meeting at Camp David between him and the Taliban leaders, and a separate one with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.
Trump repeated on Monday that he wanted "to get out by the earliest possible time".
"I've never believed that a deal with the Taliban is either easy or imminent", Senator Marco Rubio said.
Senator Mitt Romney stated that "it would not have been my option to have the Taliban at Camp David" - an opinion echoed by Senator Ron Johnson, who stated he was "glad" the talks weren't held there.
"I don't want to see other families suffer the way I did". "At a certain point you have to say that's long enough".
"But right now they're murdering too many people".