Taliban Publish Open Letter to Americans Calling for Peace Talks
The letter specifically calls upon the “American people” and “peace-loving congressmen” to pressure the Trump administration into ending the conflict in Afghanistan, criticizing the “inexperienced policies of President Trump and his war-monger advisors.”
President Trump has previously outlined a strategy that involves increasing military presence and autonomy in Afghanistan, removing timelines on the withdrawals of troops, and ultimately negotiating with the Taliban to find a political solution. However, he has since changed his stance, dismissing talks of negotiations in January and stating “I don’t think we’re prepared to talk right now. It’s a whole different fight over there. They’re killing people left and right. Innocent people are being killed left and right.”
The letter itself criticizes U.S. progress in Afghanistan, stating that in 17 years, the “illegitimate” invasion has failed to eliminate terrorism, establish a legal government or eradicate narcotics, three points which were cited as a rationale for invading. In fact, it highlights increased insecurity and fighting, a highly corrupt regime, and the expansion of the narcotics industry.
The authors also emphasize the number of casualties since the start of the invasion and urge Americans to pressure the government into withdrawing troops, asking “how long will your modern country and children continue to be sacrificed for the war-mongering policies of a few war-mongering officials?”
They concluded that “insisting on prolonging the war in Afghanistan and maintaining American troop presence is neither beneficial for America nor for anyone else, rather it endangers the stability of the entire world.”
According to a spokesperson from the U.S. State Department, recent Taliban attacks have made it clear that the group is not willing to work for peace, despite the letter’s message. NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg added that peace will be difficult to achieve without the cooperation of other countries in the region, including China.