U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that talks with Taliban leaders of Afghanistan are off, and he was still thinking about reducing the number of U.S. troops in the country.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’re dead,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for North Carolina, after calling off secret planned Camp David talks because of a Taliban suicide car bombing in Kabul on Sept. 5 that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.
As for withdrawing some of the 14,000 U.S. troops in the country, he said, “We’d like to get out but we’ll get out at the right time,” Trump said.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had been in negotiations for nearly a year with the Taliban’s political wing in Doha, Qatar. What had seemed like an imminent deal to end America’s longest war unravelled at the last minute. Trump tweeted Saturday evening that he had cancelled his planned meeting with the Taliban and Afghan leaders at Camp David this past weekend.
The insurgents are now promising more bloodshed.
We have been serving as policemen in Afghanistan, and that was not meant to be the job of our Great Soldiers, the finest on earth. Over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!
The Afghan government remains mostly on the sidelines of the U.S. peace effort. And as Trump’s re-election campaign heats up, his quest to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan remains unfulfilled.