Speaking at an unannounced Thanksgiving gathering on his first-ever visit to Afghanistan, where the US has been fighting for the past 18 years, President Donald Trump has solemnly announced the United States is “substantially” reducing its troops there.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! pic.twitter.com/7SGZnHindW— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2019
He also promised the audience that a peace deal with the Taliban is in the making and coming soon, although not providing any detailed timeframe for either troop withdrawals or a truce.
"The Taliban wants to make a deal", Trump stated. "And we are meeting with them and we say it has to be a ceasefire and they didn't want to do a ceasefire and now they want to do a ceasefire, I believe. It will probably work out that way".
I did the security advance for Pres. Obama’s trip to Afghanistan in 2010 & it’s always an extremely risky & dangerous trip. A big salute to Pres. Trump for showing his deep respect for our warfighters by spending his Thanksgiving with them. God bless America & all who defend Her. https://t.co/r7OIKekNmD— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) November 28, 2019
Before he departed he could be heard saying that there would be no deals unless his demands were met and he repeated it 7 times before leaving the meeting.— Tim Rutledge (@TimRutledge3) November 28, 2019
During a meeting with Afghani President Ashraf Ghani, POTUS also confirmed his intention to reduce the number of US troops on the ground from 14,000 to 8,000, with the administration having already reduced Washington's presence in the crisis-stricken country by 2,000 troops over the last year, numerous reports suggested.
Trump is a showman and the troops are his audience. That’s all this is, although it makes for great optics.— Bill Bechtel (@Okiboi) November 28, 2019
Wait a minute! I thought he was only in it for himself.— William Fenske (@wef46z) November 28, 2019
Warfighters? Respect? He went because he didn't have a family to spend it with and for a photo op.— Karen R. Sanderson (@KRS_RogueShark) November 28, 2019
Peace negotiations with the Taliban have been underway for quite some time, about a year at least, yet have so far yielded no tangible results. POTUS previously postponed peace talks noting the negotiations were “dead", while Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told ABC News earlier this month that a US contingent, irrespective of its size, would remain in the country for “several more years”.
He added that the US mission there “is not yet complete", arguing that Afghan forces are “going to have to be able to sustain their own internal security” before the US withdraws all of its troops.