Troop Withdrawals to Commence After Trump Cuts Deal With the Taliban
After negotiating a new deal with the Taliban on Thursday August 1, 2019, the Trump administration is planning to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan based on a report from The Hill.
According to a The Washington Post report, which cited numbers from U.S. officials, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan would be cut back to between 8,000 and 9,000 from the current number of 14,000.
On the Taliban side, they would reportedly have to begin the negotiating process with the Afghan government to bring the peace to the war-torn area. This deal entails a cease-fire and the Taliban renouncing al-Qaeda.
According to the Post, this proposal is the product of months of talks between the Taliban and Zalmay Khalilzad, an American diplomat born in Afghanistan.
Officials are speculating that an agreement could be finalized right before Afghanistan’s September elections. Nevertheless, they did concede that there are still challenges ahead.
One official told the Post, “I would say that they are 80 or 90 percent of the way there.”
The same official added, “But there is still a long way to go on that last 10 or 20 percent.”
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid did not respond to the Post’s request for comment about a potential deal. He also stated that he didn’t know when the negotiations would continue.
Mujahid declared “We are hopeful. Things look promising that there will be a breakthrough. We hope there won’t be any obstacle, but it also depends on the seriousness of the Americans.”
In a tweet on Wednesday, Khalizad said that his recent visit to Afghanistan was his “most productive.” He stated that “if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on.”
However, there might be roadblocks in this withdrawal process.
In a statement to The Hill, Defense Department spokesperson Rebecca Rebarich said that the department had not been instructed to withdraw forces.
“Our strategy in Afghanistan is conditions-based,” Rebarich declared. “Our troops will remain in Afghanistan at appropriate levels so long as their presence is required to safeguard U.S. interests.”
Similarly, a State Department spokesperson told The Hill that any agreement will be conditions-based and that the administration is seeking to reach a peace agreement, not so much a withdrawal agreement.
Additionally, the spokesperson said that any reduction in forces or withdrawal will also have to meet certain conditions.
At first glance, this looks like a positive development.
However, the hesitance on this matter just demonstrates how there are greater forces in Washington D.C. that will try to roadblock President Trump’s America First agenda.
Nevertheless, Trump should stand strong.
He is the commander-in-chief after all, and he ultimately has the final say on military matters.
With the public growing tired of the never-ending wars, it’s time that Trump carry out the will of the people and put an end to these disastrous regime change campaigns.
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Dallas County Commissioners Vote to Place Limits on Activist Judge Clay Jenkins’ MASSIVE Power Grab
On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, Dallas County commissioners voted to restrict County Judge Clay Jenkins’ emergency powers.
They argued that they were unaware of certain sensitive decisions taken by Jenkins.
These Commissioners voted to have Jenkins inform all four of commissioners and allow them to meet up before deciding to impose more restrictions on essential businesses. On top of that, they required him to obtain a majority vote before extending the shelter-in-place order beyond April 30, 2020.
Ever since March 19, Jenkins has issued a number of orders which included limits on group gatherings and a shelter-in-place order that compelled non-essential businesses and services to shut down two weeks ago.
On April 3, 2020, commissioners approved the extension of the disaster declaration until May 20. Additionally, Jenkins announced on Twitter that he would extend stay-at-home orders until April 30.
The restrictions were weakened after a four-hour meeting. Jenkins even hinted before the vote that the originally proposed restrictions were “dangerous” and would keep him from acting decisively during a pandemic.
“We’re just not going to be able to get things done if we stop and have a two- or three-hour meeting every day on things like whether or not people should solicit at your home or not,” Jenkins said before the vote took place.
Commissioner John Wiley Price, who represents a large portion of southern Dallas, declared that there’s been a “throat choke” on his constituents during the past few weeks.
Price said he was “incensed” by decisions Jenkins took unilaterally.
“If you can confer with 250 people every day, or every other day, then you can confer with us,” Price said to Jenkins.
Price has advocated for pawn shops and check-cashing businesses to be reopened, saying people in the communities he represents would benefit from the re-opening of the economy.
Jenkins ordered on April 6, 2020 that those businesses could open up their doors provided that they implement certain social distancing policies and follow consumer protection measures laid out in his amended order.
Commissioner J.J. Koch, who put forward the amendment to restrict Jenkins’ power, said he was of the opinion that it was “prudent” for commissioners to vote on these issues together.
“It’s a little bit concerning that there are still pieces that have to be addressed this late in the game at such a rapid pace,” Koch stated. “We shouldn’t be in this place.”
Commissioner Theresa Daniel said her colleagues need to be in the loop when it comes to making decisions due to the resources they can offer.
“What I see in this is not that we are putting barricades or barriers to progress or addressing issues that must be addressed,” Daniels commented. “We agree with you and appreciate all those efforts, but we are a part of this county, we are a part of these decisions, and we have not been kept in the loop.”
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