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Trump Reportedly Wants To Withdraw All US Troops From Afghanistan By The Next Presidential Election
President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the 2020 presidential election, NBC News reported on Wednesday.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, is attempting to accelerate peace negotiations with the Taliban because top government officials believe Trump will soon end the U.S. military’s role there, according to NBC, which cited unnamed current and former U.S. officials.
As of Wednesday, the U.S. troops in Afghanistan have not been provided a time line for much longer their mission will last, said Army Maj. Bariki Mallya, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support.
But that could change.
“Both the State Department and the Defense Department are acting like a drawdown is going to come sooner rather than later,” Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Task & Purpose.
Since the Taliban are only interested in evicting the U.S. from Afghanistan so they can reconquer the entire country, the war has been decided in their favor, Joscelyn said.
“We lost,” he said. “They won. This means that we lost the original 9/11 war. The negotiations are desperate, trying to save some face on the way to give us the appearance of leaving without losing, but the reality is that it is a loss.”
In this June 16, 2018 photo, Taliban fighters greet residents in the Surkhroad district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan.Associated Press photo/Rahmat Gul.
To underscore his point, Joscelyn pointed to the Taliban’s response to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s most recent offer for peace talks, in which they claim that any talks with the Afghan government would be “a waste of time.”
The Islamic Emirate, as a representative of the valiant Mujahid Afghan nation and as a sovereign entity, is fighting and negotiating with the American invades for the success of Jihad,” the statement from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says.
For right now, the U.S. military’s mission to Afghanistan has not changed, said Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Koné Faulkner.
“We remain committed to a conditions-based strategy and we stand by the Afghan government as it seeks a political settlement to ending the war. Any follow-on questions on the president's future intentions need to be directed to the White House.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Task & Purpose.
Defense Secretary James Mattis gave reporters on an optimistic appraisal of the peace process in Afghanistan, saying it is “picking up momentum.”
“We are going to do our level best to protect the Afghan people,” Mattis said. “The largest coalition in modern history to fight a war – under NATO 41 nations – and their devotion is to ending the war and protecting the Afghan people.
“It would be nice if the Taliban would get aligned with the reconciliation efforts and stop murdering their own people. But yeah, we’ll keep at it.”
2 years after the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions, the Navy has no idea if its new ship-driving training is working
Two years after a pair of deadly collisions involving Navy ships killed 17 sailors and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, the Navy still can't figure out whether its plan to improve ship-driving training has been effective.
In fact, according to senior Navy officials quoted in a recent Government Accountability Office report on Navy ship-driving, it could take nearly 16 years or more to know if the planned changes will actually have an impact.
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
An Air Force private housing company faked its maintenance records to get millions of dollars in bonuses
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.K. company that provides housing to U.S. military families came under official investigation earlier this year, after Reuters disclosed it had faked maintenance records to pocket performance bonuses at an Oklahoma Air Force base.
At the time, Balfour Beatty Communities said it strove to correctly report its maintenance work. It blamed any problems on a sole former employee at the Oklahoma base.
Now, Reuters has found that Balfour Beatty employees systematically doctored records in a similar scheme at a Texas base.
The Air Force is urging airmen to avoid using any products with cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil. Why? Because products with CBD oil can make airmen test positive during a urine test for the presence of marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law.
The Air Force announcement comes three months after the Department of Defense reminded service members that CBD use is "completely forbidden."