They have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans, and yet somehow, only days before the anniversary of 9/11, Donald Trump thought it was a good idea to invite the Taliban to Camp David for peace talks. And to add to the bizarreness, Trump publicized the ‘secret talks’ on Twitter. From The New York Times:
“The president’s announcement was startling for multiple reasons. A surprise summit at Camp David with leaders of an insurgent group that has killed thousands of Americans since the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan would have been a sensational diplomatic gambit, on par with Mr. Trump’s meetings with the once-reclusive North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. A senior administration official said the meeting had been planned for Monday, just two days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which were plotted from Afghanistan and led to the United States’ invasion of the country.“
Allowing the Taliban brought criticism from GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger, who also serves in the National Guard.
Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island also criticized the idea.
Peace talks between the Taliban and U.S. representatives have been ongoing for months. The fate of those negotiations is now unclear with Trump’s summit meeting now cancelled. Part of the agreement would be a drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The cancellation was, according to Trump, because of a car bomb in Kabul last week that killed an American serviceman. But The Times writes:
“Several people familiar with the diplomacy between the Trump administration and the Taliban puzzled over Mr. Trump’s stated decision to cancel peace negotiations entirely in response to one American casualty, however tragic. The Taliban had not agreed to halt their attacks on Americans in advance of a formal agreement. That raised the question of whether Mr. Trump might have been looking for a pretext because the talks had run into trouble.“
Trump has criticized Barack Obama in the past for his efforts to negotiate with the Taliban.