On account of Thanksgiving that is celebrated on November’s fourth Thursday every year, President Trump made his very first surprise trip to Afghanistan to meet the US troops deployed in the region. Upon his meet with Afghani President Ashraf Ghani, Trump announced that he had restarted Taliban peace talks, that have long remained dormant amid the ongoing conflicts.
Trump accompanied by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Sen. John Barrasso, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Dan Walsh, Grisham, Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere and Social Media Director Dan Scavino, arrived at Bagram Air Field on Thursday.
After meeting with the troops, the president served them to turkey in a cafeteria in Afghanistan, posed for photos and delivered brief remarks in a hanger.
As known, the presence of the US troops in Afghanistan has been in controversy from a long time amid the causalities and conflicts by Talibani forces in the region. Up till now, many American soldiers have been killed in action during anti-Taliban raids in Afghanistan.
During the meeting with Ghani, the US president announced that he would want to reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 down from a current total of less than 14,000.
The decision of pull out seems to have been taken to protect the US’ national security interests that have often been hindered by Talibani forces in the region. But, the analysts believe that withdrawal of troops will result in US’ loss of power, influence, and prestige in Afghanistan, simultaneously escalating terror in the region.
On the other hand, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham supported the president’s decision, saying, “It’s a dangerous area and he wants to support the troops.”
“He and Mrs. Trump recognize that there’s a lot of people far away from their families during the holidays and we thought it’d be a nice surprise.
“It’s truly about Thanksgiving and supporting the troops,” added Grisham.
Previously, Taliban peace talks were declared “dead” by the US president, after a blast near the US Embassy in Kabul was revealed that killed 12 people, including a US soldier in September. The restarting of talks indicates the fact that the US wants to withdraw the troops on an urgent basis, so that no more soldier is killed in Afghan-Taliban mess.
Even though the US government has been negotiating with Taliban for nearly a year, they have not been able to end America’s longest war in the region. It appears that Taliban through its attacks wants to maintain its dominance in Afghanistan, while portraying the message that it would still has a strong position even if US-Taliban peace talks become a success.
Whether or not Taliban would succeed in abiding by the outlines of the deal, avoiding terrorist groups to use Afghanistan as a launch point for attacks against the US, is a big question that the US leaders have in their mind. They think that entrusting Taliban with peace would be the most dangerous thing that the US could do.
Meanwhile in context of Taliban peace talks, Afghani president stated, “Afghan security forces are taking the lead now,” adding his thanks to Americans who have made the “ultimate sacrifice” in Afghanistan.