Tag Archives: $5000

The Taliban Shouldn’t Get within 5,000 Miles of Camp David

The Taliban Shouldn’t Get within 5,000 Miles of Camp DavidThe best thing to be said for the planned Camp David meeting with the Taliban is that it didn’t happen.President Trump has a weakness for the grand gesture. Hosting the leadership of a vicious, terrorist insurgency that aided and abetted September 11 and is trying to kill Americans as we speak certainly would have been . . . memorable.The invitation was part of the effort to bring to a conclusion negotiations that were close to a deal, although not one favorable to the interests of the United States.The deal envisioned the U.S. reducing its current troop presence of roughly 15,000 down to zero about 16 months from now, at which point any commitments the Taliban had made would be worthless. We understand the frustration with a war that has lasted 18 years, but it would be foolish to end the “endless war,” or our part of it, with the Taliban once again in position to threaten Kabul and harbor international terrorists who mean us harm. We’ve had recent experience with a president following through on campaign pledge to end a war no matter what — and, of course, Barack Obama had to order troops back to Iraq when ISIS took over a swathe of the country.If and when the Afghan civil war ends, it will involve a settlement with the Taliban and the Afghan government. This was not even close to that. The Taliban agreed to begin talking only to the Afghan government, and the deal didn’t even entail a ceasefire. There were reportedly conditions in an annex that the Taliban would be very unlikely to meet, giving us the leeway to put the brakes on our withdrawal. But if we don’t want to get out — and we shouldn’t — why ink a deal that creates even more doubt about our staying power and legitimizes the Taliban?Indeed, the negotiations had only emboldened the Taliban. President Trump cited a Taliban suicide car-bomb attack that had killed a U.S. soldier as the reason for pulling the plug on the Camp David meeting. As in his Hanoi summit with Kim Jong-il, Trump at least is willing to short-circuit his own theatrical diplomacy when it clearly makes no sense.Now we should put aside the negotiations and work on a sustainable strategy for preserving a presence in Afghanistan. We should be looking to minimize our troop commitment within reason (the number the administration has talked about of 8,600 is probably workable), although what will likely be a renewed Taliban offensive should forestall any immediate drawdown. Unlike other terrorist hot spots, land-locked Afghanistan is not accessible to us from surrounding countries. A presence there doesn’t just stabilize the Afghan government, it gives us the option of launching operations into Pakistan (we never would have killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan if we hadn’t been in Afghanistan).The fear that the Afghan war will be “endless” shouldn’t push us into ending it badly.



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US to start Afghan withdrawal with 5,000 troops out in 20 weeks

US to start Afghan withdrawal with 5,000 troops out in 20 weeksAmerica has agreed in principle to withdraw 5,000 troops from five military bases in 20 weeks, in a deal with the Taliban to kick start talks with the Afghan government. The accord which could be announced as early as Wednesday would see US troops begin to pull back from their longest ever conflict, in return for a reduction in Taliban attacks and the start of formal negotiations with Ashraf Ghani's government. A large blast hit Kabul on Monday evening, close to a heavily fortified compound housing international organisations.The Green Village compound has been struck by several suicide car combs in the past. There was no immediate report of casualties. The deal brokered over nine rounds of talks in Doha has yet to be signed off by Donald Trump and Mr Ghani was last night consulting with officials after being shown the latest draft of the prospective agreement. Nato allies including Britain will also be briefed on the deal before any announcement. Yet Western officials familiar the talks said final go ahead could be given as early as Wednesday or Thursday. “Yes, we have reached an agreement in principle,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the top US negotiator, told told Tolo news. “Of course, it is not final until the US president agrees on it. So, at the moment, we are at that stage.” Sources briefed on talks stressed the US troop withdrawal would be “conditions-based”, with an insistence by Washington that the Taliban violence reduced significantly and almost immediately. The Taliban have so far refused a complete ceasefire. The draft accord has been brokered over nine rounds of talks in Doha, Qatar Credit: AFP After the first tranche of 5,000 of America's 14,000-odd troops had left, the rest would gradually leave the country over 15 months or more. If the Taliban failed to meet the conditions then America would “stop the clock” on the withdrawal however. Other details of the draft agreement remained closely guarded, including details of guarantees to be given by the Taliban that Afghanistan would not again become a base for transnational terrorist such as al-Qaeda. Sources said the most significant part of the agreement would be the start of talks between Afghan political leaders and the Taliban. Mr Ghani's government has so far been shut out of talks with the Taliban declaring it is only an American puppet. The country risks slipping back into civil war unless the sides can agree a wider political settlement on how to run Afghanistan after America has left. The sides could meet in Oslo as early as later this month and a wider ceasefire is likely to be high on the Afghan government agenda. While there is widespread desire among Afghans for an end to the bloodshed killing thousands of security forces and civilians a year. But there is also fear the Taliban want to reimpose their harsh Islamic emirate of the 1990s, rolling back civil and women's rights Counter terrorism officials in Washington are also worried the Taliban will be unable or unwilling to prevent terrorist groups setting up bases in Afghanistan, just as al-Qaeda did before the 9/11 attacks. It is also unclear whether voting in the impending presidential election will continue if a deal is signed. Polling at the end of September is predicted to follow previous Afghan elections in being riddled with fraud and bitterly disputed. Mr Ghani, seen as the leading candidate, is adamant elections must continue, but American diplomats are understood to be concerned a flawed and contested poll will only detract from talks.



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U.S. to withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan, close bases: U.S. negotiator

U.S. to withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan, close bases: U.S. negotiatorThe United States would withdraw almost 5,000 troops from Afghanistan and close five bases within 135 days under a draft peace accord agreed with the Taliban, the chief U.S. negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Monday. The deal, reached after months of negotiations with representatives from the insurgent movement, must still be approved by U.S. President Donald Trump before it can be signed, Khalilzad said in an interview with Tolo News television. In exchange for the phased withdrawal, the Taliban would commit not to allow Afghanistan to be used by militant groups such as al Qaeda or Islamic State as a base for attacks on the United States and its allies.



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5,000 bodies found in unmarked graves in Mexico since 2006

5,000 bodies found in unmarked graves in Mexico since 2006Nearly 5,000 bodies have been found in more than 3,000 unmarked graves since Mexico deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006, the government said Friday in its first comprehensive report on the carnage. Mexico has been hit by a wave of violence since launching the so-called “drug war,” and activists and family members of the country’s 40,000 missing persons have been denouncing mass graves for years. It found 3,024 unmarked graves nationwide, with at least 4,974 bodies, Karla Quintana, head of the national search commission for missing persons, told a news conference alongside President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on International Day of the Disappeared.



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Pentagon to find places to potentially house up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children

Pentagon to find places to potentially house up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant childrenActing U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved a request to identify places to potentially house up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. In March, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requested Pentagon support to identify locations to house unaccompanied migrant children through Sept. 30. Migrant arrivals on the U.S. border with Mexico have been building steadily for months, driven by growing numbers of children and families, especially from Central America.



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U.S. plans for more than 5,000 troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan

U.S. plans for more than 5,000 troops to be withdrawn from AfghanistanOn Wednesday, Trump rebuffed top advisers and decided to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria, a decision that contributed to U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly quitting on Thursday over significant policy differences with the president. It is unclear how the United States with less than 9,000 forces in Afghanistan will be able to fulfill the full set of missions now underway, including training Afghan forces, advising them in the field, and waging an air campaign against the Taliban and other militant groups. Instead, the United States almost certainly would have to curtail its missions, something that could provide an opportunity for a resurgent Taliban to expand their offensives across Afghanistan.



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Russia's New Radar Can Track 5,000 Objects (Including Hypersonic Missiles)

Russia's New Radar Can Track 5,000 Objects (Including Hypersonic Missiles)A threat to NATO?



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US Military to send more than 5,000 troops to border ahead of migrant caravan arrival

US Military to send more than 5,000 troops to border ahead of migrant caravan arrivalThe US military is preparing to send as many as 5,200 troops to the nation’s southern border ahead of a migrant caravan travelling towards the region. The latest reports arrived as an estimated 800 troops were sent to the US-Mexico border Monday, the US Department of Defence said Monday afternoon. Earlier this year around 2,000 National Guard troops to the region, where about 15,000 US customs officials oversee the processing of trade, migrants and pedestrian travel daily.



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5,000 People Remain Missing, Are Feared Dead, After Devastating Indonesia Quake

5,000 People Remain Missing, Are Feared Dead, After Devastating Indonesia QuakeThousands of people are still missing, and feared dead, in Indonesia following



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Southwest giving passengers $5,000 checks on accident flight

Southwest giving passengers $  5,000 checks on accident flightSouthwest Airlines Co confirmed Friday it has sent $ 5,000 checks to passengers aboard a flight that made an emergency landing this week after an engine failed, killing a passenger. The airline confirmed news reports from passengers it had sent the checks along with $ 1,000 travel vouchers. The CFM56 jet engine on Southwest flight 1380 blew apart over Pennsylvania on Tuesday, about 20 minutes after the Dallas-bound flight left New York’s LaGuardia Airport with 149 people on board.



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