On Donald Trump’s first visit to Afghanistan, the falsehoods continue. Trump made a surprise trip to Bagram Air Force Base outside Kabul on Thanksgiving to visit troops. But he also spoke to the press on the Taliban’s desire for a cease-fire in the 18-year-old war. But as The Washington Post reports, it was more wishful thinking than reality. The Post writes:
“They didn’t want to do a cease-fire, but now they do want to do a cease-fire,” Trump said of the militants. “It will probably work out that way. . . . We’ve made tremendous progress,” he added.
“But on Friday neither the Taliban nor the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani indicated that a cease-fire was near, or even being discussed in resumed U.S. negotiations.“
The New York Times writes Western diplomats and Taliban leaders were scrambling to figure out what had changed.
“They were particularly confused by his remarks, made during an unannounced Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, that the United States was once again meeting with the Taliban to discuss a deal, but that “we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire.”
“Demanding a cease-fire would amount to a big shift in the American position and require a significant new concession from the Taliban — one that the Americans have little leverage to extract.“
Trump abruptly called off the talks in September. In an interview with the times, a Taliban negotiator said, “Our position remains the same.”