US, Taliban sign deal aimed at ending war in Afghanistan

More than 18 years after the Afghanistan conflict began in response to the September 11, 2001,...
More than 18 years after the Afghanistan conflict began in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, the United States and the Islamists it toppled from power in Afghanistan are poised to sign a peace deal on Saturday. (Source: CNN)(GIM)
Published: Feb. 29, 2020 at 6:08 AM CST
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The United States and the Taliban have signed a peace agreement aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan, America’s longest.

The signing could help President Donald Trump fulfill a key campaign promise to extract America from its “endless wars.”

Under the agreement, the U.S. will begin withdrawing thousands of troops in exchange for Taliban commitments to prevent Afghanistan from being a launchpad for terrorist attacks.

If the Taliban meet their commitments, all U.S. troops would leave in 14 months.

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to overthrow the Taliban, who had hosted Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida as they planned and celebrated the assault.

It only took a few months to topple the Taliban and send Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaida militants scrambling across the border into Pakistan.

But the war dragged on for years and the Taliban regrouped, eventually holding sway over half the country.

Afghan war vets torn on US-Taliban deal

Veterans of America’s longest war are torn as the U.S. signs a potentially historic peace accord with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

For many, the U.S. is overdue in withdrawing its forces after more than 18 years of fighting.

Others are wary of the Taliban, whose hard-line government the U.S.-led forces overthrew in 2001.

Former Army Staff Sgt. Will Blackburn of Georgia said if the Taliban again seizes power, U.S. lives lost in the war will have been for nothing.

Former Army Sgt. Michael Carrasquillo of Maryland was shot in an ambush in Afghanistan in 2005. He says peace in any form would be good.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.