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Saturday, January 26, 2019

TRUCE And WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN Imminent: U.S., Taliban Agree on Troop Exit Plan

By: Wes Messamore
The Humble Libertarian

Photo: Gage Skidmore - Flickr

Reuters reports Saturday, January 26th:

"Taliban officials say US negotiators have agreed to a draft peace deal setting out the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan within 18 months, potentially ending the United States' longest war.

The draft stipulates that troops would leave within 18 months of the agreement being signed, 17 years after the US invaded Afghanistan.

US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad later tweeted that the talks had made 'significant progress.'"

This is news of historical import.

And Sen. Rand Paul, among others, has been one of the leading advocates in Washington for this common sense policy of concluding the United States' involvement in armed conflict in the Middle East.

I'd like to propose a toast to Senator Rand Paul

As The Humble Libertarian posted here––

On January 16th The Politico reported that:

'Sen. Rand Paul strongly suggested that President Donald Trump is poised to begin scaling back the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and will follow through on his promise to pull out of Syria, the Kentucky Republican told reporters on Wednesday.

Paul met with Trump privately and in a larger meeting with other senators on the president’s plans to wind down the U.S. presence in Syria. While Paul would not talk specifics of Trump’s plans, he said that the president recognizes “we’ve been at war too long and in too many places.”

“Not only is he following through on his Syria policy, I really do think there will be changes in Afghanistan as well,” Paul said in a conference call with reporters. “In general the idea is that we’re going to do things differently. We’re not going to stay forever. The Afghans will have to step up.”'

So we knew from following Rand Paul that this was coming, but didn't know that it would happen this quickly.

Voice of America Report: U.S., Taliban Agree to Ceasefire, Troop Withdrawal Plan

The Voice of America or VOA, is the U.S. federal government's non-military official international broadcaster, and has learned that:

"The United States and the Taliban may have agreed on a plan for American troops to leave Afghanistan, sources privy to the development told VOA Saturday. In return, the insurgent group has given assurances that no international terrorist groups would be allowed to use Afghan soil to threaten America or any other country in future.

The understanding is the outcome of nearly a week of intense and uninterrupted dialogue between U.S. and insurgent representatives in Doha, Qatar. Representatives of the host government and Pakistan have also been in attendance.

The sources told VOA they expected the two negotiating sides to announce the withdrawal plan as early as Saturday and at the latest by Monday, if all goes as planned. The U.S. drawdown plan would require the Taliban to observe a cease-fire. However, both the withdrawal and the cease-fire will be “limited and conditional.” Sources, however, do not rule out the possibility of President Donald Trump announcing the final agreement with the Taliban at his State of the Union speech now that the U.S. government shutdown has ended."

Read more at Voice of America.

Sen. Rand Paul on Syria and Afghanistan - Jan. 19, 2019