U.S. to Withdraw $1 billion in Aid From Afghanistan.

Infighting within Afghan leadership caused the breakdown in negotiations.

After a whirlwind day in Kabul in which he met with feuding Afghan leaders, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned to the United States with no agreement in hand. He had wanted to resuscitate peace talks with the Taliban that are “on life support.” He also met with Taliban representatives.

After his departure, the State Department issued a statement sharply critical of Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, who both claim to be Afghanistan’s duly-elected president, accusing them of “irresponsible actions,” and announcing the U.S. would immediately withdraw $1 billion in assistance and consider cutting another $1 billion next year.

“They still can’t see their way towards wanting to get on a team, the inclusive team,” Secretary Pompeo said after neither man would bend to U.S. pressure to put aside their differences and form a unity government. Speaking to reporters on his plane en route to Washington, he said it’s not too late for them to change course. “We’re hopeful, frankly, they’ll get their act together and we won’t have to do it, but we are prepared to do that if they can’t.”

The secretary expressed in unusually blunt terms his disappointment with the conduct of America’s Afghan partners. “Their failure has harmed U.S.-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonors those Afghani, Americans, and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Pompeo and others in the State Department who have worked so tirelessly to establish a peace agreement in Afghanistan.
  • For President Trump, Secretary of Defense Esper, and their advisers as they discuss the next steps relative to troops remaining in Afghanistan or not.

Sources: Washington Examiner, CNN


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