Small Wars Journal

U.S.-Taliban Deal Comes Under Pressure Amid Military Action

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 12:37am

U.S.-Taliban Deal Comes Under Pressure Amid Military Action by Dion Nissenbaum, Ehsanullah Amiri and Jessica Donati – Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is facing an uphill battle to keep a landmark agreement with the Taliban on track after a resurgence of violence and growing diplomatic strain between Washington and Kabul.

President Ashraf Ghani declined Wednesday to meet with President Trump’s special envoy, who arrived in Kabul in an effort to salvage a four-day old agreement calling for the U.S. military to withdraw from Afghanistan by next fall, an Afghan government official said. The U.S. envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, is expected to instead meet Mr. Ghani’s vice president, Amrullah Saleh.

Mr. Ghani’s difficulties with the U.S. have been increasing in recent months. The U.S. hasn’t recognized his re-election following a disputed presidential contest against Mr. Ghani’s rival, Abdullah Abdullah, last year. And Mr. Ghani has refused to cooperate with the Trump administration on its pledge to the Taliban to secure release of up to 5,000 insurgents held by the Afghan government…

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