Skip to comments.Afghan President Rejects Timeline For Prisoner Swap Proposed In US-Taliban Peace Deal
Posted on 03/01/2020 8:23:34 PM PST by BenLurkin
Afghanistan's president publicly rejected the timeline for a prisoner swap with the Taliban on Sunday, just one day after the United States signed a peace deal with the militant Islamist group that proposes a March 10 deadline for an exchange of prisoners.
The peace deal, more than a year in the making, aims to end the longest war in American history.
Signed Saturday in Doha, Qatar, the agreement calls for the full withdrawal of American troops and supporting civilian personnel, including those of its allies, from Afghanistan within 14 months. There are currently about 12,000 U.S. forces in the country, tasked with counter-terrorism efforts, training Afghan troops and providing air support for Afghan ground forces.
The deal also outlined the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners by the Afghan government in exchange for up to 1,000 Afghan security forces held prisoner by the Taliban.
The swap is intended as a confidence building measure ahead of talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan's government, slated to begin around mid-March in Oslo, Norway. The talks are intended to achieve a lasting ceasefire and a political settlement that would establish a role for the Taliban in the country's future.
But on Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, that a prisoner release was not a promise the United States could make, according to The Associated Press. "The request has been made by the United States for the release of prisoners and it can be part of the negotiations but it cannot be a precondition," said Ghani.
The Afghan president's statements are an early potential setback for the U.S. peace deal, which was signed by U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad and the head of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. They also underscore a point that many observers have long predicted: that the most challenging step in the peace process will be reaching an agreement between the Afghans themselves and the Taliban.
Before Ghani announced his rejection of the prisoner exchange timeline, a State Department official told NPR both the numbers of prisoners and the timeline for their release are "aspirational" and will depend on "Taliban performance."
In an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration is hopeful negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban will begin in the coming days, but acknowledged it would be "rocky and bumpy."
"No one is under any false illusion that this won't be a difficult conversation," said Pompeo.
If the deal holds, it could be a historic step forward. A U.S.-led military coalition invaded Afghanistan shortly after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The Taliban, which had been ruling the country for five years, were subsequently overthrown reprisal for having provided safe harbor to Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida.
In the 18 years since, more than 2,400 Americans have died in Afghanistan. A 2019 United Nations report estimated that 32,000 Afghan civilians had died in the past decade. The war is estimated to have cost nearly $1 trillion.
President Donald Trump has called the conflict in Afghanistan one of America's "endless wars," and vowed to bring the war to a close. But like his predecessors, Trump has been stymied in that effort. Within months of taking office, the president added 4,000 U.S. troops to the forces already deployed in Afghanistan.
According to Saturday's agreement, the United States is set to start the draw-down process by reducing its troop levels to 8,600 within 135 days, bringing the numbers back to roughly where they were under President Barack Obama. The remaining forces would leave within the following nine and a half months.
How realistic that timeline is could depend on security guarantees by the Taliban to stop attacks, break with al-Qaida and open talks with Afghan officials. Speaking to reporters from the White House on Saturday, President Trump expressed confidence in the process but warned that "If bad things happen, we'll go back."
We could be out by the end of March if we wanted.
We could stay for another 18 months or another 18 years and it will not change the place.
Islam is the problem.
“...Their lives are one continuous battle ground.”
Maybe that's what our lame-stream media wants us to believe. When we lived in the Middle East the ONLY news coming from there was the interminable, never-ending tribal warfare.
Those who suffered the worst were women, children and older people. No one tribe has ever won a decisive victory as to end the war.
Afghanistan is an Islamic republic consisting of three branches of power (executive, legislative, and judiciary) overseen by checks and balances. The country is led by President Ashraf Ghani, who replaced Hamid Karzai in 2014.
Doesn't that sound rosy, sweet and nice?
War in Afghanistan (2001-2020)
The War in Afghanistan (also called the US War in Afghanistan, Afghanistan War, or Fourth Anglo-Afghan War), code named Operation Enduring Freedom (200114) and Operation Freedom's Sentinel (20152020), followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001, when the United States of America and its allies successfully drove the Taliban from power in order to deny al-Qaeda a safe base of operations in Afghanistan.[
Since the initial objectives were completed, a coalition of over 40 countries (including all NATO members) formed a security mission in the country. The war has since mostly involved US and allied Afghan government troops battling Taliban insurgents.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in US history.
Amen to that.
“Islam is the problem”.
Indeed. It has been for many hundreds of years. And, in all these years many tried appeasement until it became painfully obvious that approach was a waste of lives.
When it comes to dealing with Islam the world is Einstein’s definition of Insanity. Repeatedly attempting appeasement though that attempt fails every time it’s tried.
It was so in Europe until nearly all of Europe was conquered. Only then, were The Crusades launched.
And what does modern society say about that? The Crusaders are Condemned. They are said to be the evil ones and the murdering Islamists are portrayed as the poor victims.
Man’s propensity towards the incongruous never ceases to amaze. The further we wander from the Lord God the worse our condition and the more insane our decision making.
Ashraf Ghani is Pashtun. The irony here is that if he killed off the Pashtun population or drove it into Pakistan, the Taliban would become extinct in Afghanistan.
Of course -- when we pull out, he'll be dead. He knows this.
Once again, the longest war in American history is NOT Afghanistan. It is the Korean War. We have not ended the Korean War, we are merely at a Cease Fire agreement with NoKo. People tend to overlook this because there has been no military action for decades.
5 seconds after the taliban break the agreement we should be carpet bombing every place they live.
Why is this the “Afghan War”?
Since this is like Korea, shouldn’t this be the “Afghan Police Action”? (Presently).
Your Einstine quote hits the nail on the head. These people need to be converted.
Followers of Mohammed not only claim, but truly believe that God has authorized them to kill those who refuse to submit to their version of Gods will.
That is a basic tenet of that religion. A claim which goes unchallenged which makes it a theocratic creed advocating a form of government that is to replace the existing one.
While it is understandable for atheists which most socialists are, not to approach that claim on a theological basis. Islam as construed with its portrayal of a mercyless evil deity approving using deception and deceit is an abomination which must be discredited and condemned.
But believing by bombing and killing those who believe in it will end its practice will not.It can only be done by attacking its assertions and tenets. Certainly not by ignoring and denying they do not exist.
It is bewildering why many Christian clergy including my Pope concerned about quote, political correctness, unquote, refuse to address what an insult to God Islam is and worse yet are unable to condemn then convince and convert its advocates and adherents they are followers of an evil creed . Instead equates it with Judeo/Christianity because of its claim of being monotheistic
The Koran which was not given to Mohammed by God but by some angel .Demanding enforcement of sharia law which draws heavily from the Torah.It is a pseudo religious concoction using monotheistic selected texts, taken and misconstrued from the old (bible) and new testaments.
The mind boggles.
Just get out of there already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>>> seconds after the taliban break the agreement we should be carpet bombing every place they live.
We carpet bombed them for months in 2001. The Taliban are still with us and Osama Bin Laden was able to make into Pakistan despite our efforts at Tora Bora.
During the last day of negotiations, the lead American slid a photo across the table to the lead Taliban negotiator.Not a word was said when this powerful message was delivered.
Surfing the other day I happened upon an interview with the Afghanistan President and a BBC reporter. He speaks English well and explained his position well. His point is correct and I agreed with him. I am surprised the peace process did not include the President of Afghanistan. All of the current Afghanistan leaders, and people, seem to for the peace deal and want it to succeed.
I’m pretty sure we never carpet bombed them. We tactically bombed them. We should have nuked it along w every Muslim capital in the region.
Just bring all Americans home... Let the Taliban have Afghanistan... If the opium traffic to the U.S. gets worse, just nuke the poppy fields... A few inches of glass will bankrupt a lot of the dealers...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.