Peace Deal Signed, U.S. To Withdraw All Troops from Afghanistan in 14 Months


The United States signed a peace agreement with Taliban militants Saturday in an effort to bring the 18 years of war in Afghanistan to an end.

The agreement outlines the process for U.S. troops to be removed from the area with the complete withdrawal to depend on the Taliban meeting its terrorism-prevention commitments, The Associated Press reported.

In the next 3-4 months, the U.S. will withdraw about 4,400 troops from Afghanistan, bringing the number of troops there down from 13,000 to 8,600.

The complete removal of troops is scheduled to happen in 14 months.

“Part of the process of making peace is to begin to take down the edifice [of sanctions], but the language is carefully constructed to be conditional, depending on Taliban performance,” a senior State Department official told NPR on condition of anonymity.

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“If the Taliban don’t do what we hope they’ll do, our requirements to begin to take down that edifice are vitiated.”

In remarks earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the agreement rests on the Taliban’s ability to uphold their promise to sever ties with terrorists so that the United States homeland remains protected.

“The Taliban must respect the agreement, specifically regarding their promises of severing ties with terrorists. We’re not required to leave unless they can demonstrate they are fulfilling every element of their end of the bargain,” he said.

“So we have our deep counterterrorism interest there, making sure that the homeland is never attacked. It’s one of the central underpinnings of what President Trump has laid before us.”

The agreement also outlines conditions for an exchange of prisoners between the Afghan government and the Taliban in order to build trust.

The Afghan government is expected to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 Afghan security forces held by the Taliban.

“The road to peace will be long and hard and there will be setbacks, and there is a risk always for spoilers,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, according to the AP.

“But the thing is, we are committed, the Afghan people are committed to peace, and we will continue to provide support.”

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The agreement is just another step toward President Donald Trump’s promise to get the U.S. out of its “endless wars” in the Middle East.

Do you think the Taliban will hold up their end of the deal?

The invasion of Afghanistan was ordered by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Over 18 years later, the U.S. has spent more than $750 billion on the war.

There are currently over 16,500 NATO soldiers serving in the area as well, 8,000 of which are American.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to America’s sons and daughters who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan, and to the many thousands who served over the past nearly 19 years,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a statement celebrating the deal, NPR reported.

UPDATE, March 2, 2020: When originally published, this article included an estimate from the AP of the number of lives lost in Afghanistan. The AP has since removed that information from their article. We have removed this incorrect information from our article, and we apologize to our readers for any confusion we may have caused.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith