Taliban Open Letter Urges Trump to Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan

Letter Calls Invasion an 'Historical Mistake'

Amid ongoing reports that the US cabinet is split on the Afghan War, with many of the generals wanting an escalation and other officials wanting to withdraw outright, the Taliban has issued an open letter to President Trump urging him to use this as an opportunity to end the conflict in favor of peaceful dialogue. Details were not yet clear on who within the Taliban penned the document.

The Taliban presented the war as an “historical mistake on the part of the previous administration,” and suggested that Trump could show he is more responsible by ending the conflict instead of letting it drag on.

The Taliban letter also acknowledged Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s proposal to “privatize” the US occupation, terming it a mistake, and insisting that if professional US and NATO soldiers couldn’t win, then obviously “mercenaries, notorious contractor firms, and immoral stooges” would do no better.

Indeed, the Taliban presented the push to continue the US war as primarily coming from corrupt Afghan politicians who see their future as dependent on the war continuing, and suggested that peace talks could more readily resolve the situation.

Officials have suggested President Trump is close to making a decision on Afghanistan for weeks now, but no announcements have been made. Trump had delegated troop level decisions to Defense Secretary Mattis before, but capped the number of troops he could add, apparently at a figure too low for Mattis’ liking.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.