Never forget Trump & Pompeo’s February 2020 Taliban Agreement - updated with White House and State & DOD statements
There’s a lot of disinformation & misinformation flying around, concerning the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. So I took the time to curate a few factual documents to help answer some questions
I have no idea how my unpublished email ended up on a ProTrump email list but take a look at this revisionist history of bullpucky - the email reads in part;
AFPI's Co-Chairs of the Center for American Security, Lt. General (Ret.) Keith Kellogg and Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and Chairman of the Center for Homeland Security and Immigration, Former Acting Secretary of DHS Chad Wolf offered the following statement:
"For the past 20 years, our men and women have served heroically in Afghanistan. We must never forget their sacrifice…
The Trump administration developed a conditions-based withdrawal. According to this plan, no final withdrawal would have occurred until final successful peace negotiations took place between the Taliban and the Ghani government.
President Trump personally engaged with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who led the Taliban delegation, and clearly laid out what would happen in the event of any Taliban intransigence. They understood and respected this approach because we had established credible deterrence in the preceding years, which is why no U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in the final 11 months we were in office.
So before AFPI’s disinformation and misinformation takes hold and catches wildfire - let’s revisit the February 29, 2020 proposal that the Trump Administration via then Secretary of State Pompeo signed
Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America
February 29, 2020 which corresponds to Rajab 5, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Hoot 10, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar
So let’s look at the terms and conditions of the Trump/Pompeo Taliban agreement. There’s no doubt that the Biden Administration miscalculated and so did the rest of the world. The thing about the February 2020 Agreement is
After the announcement of guarantees for a complete withdrawal of foreign forces and timeline in the presence of international witnesses, and guarantees and the announcement in the presence of international witnesses that Afghan soil will not be used against the security of the United States and its allies, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban will start intra-Afghan negotiations with Afghan sides on March 10, 2020, which corresponds to Rajab 15, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Hoot 20,1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar.
Both sides agree that these two parts are interconnected. The obligations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban in this agreement apply in areas under their control until the formation of the new post-settlement Afghan Islamic government as determined by the intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations.
PART ONE et seq:
…which specifically stipulates and tied the 46th President of the United States hands, upon taking the oath of office on January 20, 202
The United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within fourteen (14) months following announcement of this agreement, and will take the following measures in this regard:
The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will take the following measures in the first one hundred thirty-five (135) days:
They will reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to eight thousand six hundred (8,600) and proportionally bring reduction in the number of its allies and Coalition forces.
The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will withdraw all their forces from five (5) military bases.
B. With the commitment and action on the obligations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban in Part Two of this agreement, the United States, its allies, and the Coalition will execute the following:
The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will complete withdrawal of all remaining forces from Afghanistan within the remaining nine and a half (9.5) months.
The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will withdraw all their forces from remaining bases.
…plan to expeditiously release combat and political prisoners as a confidence building measure with the coordination and approval of all relevant sides. Up to five thousand (5,000) prisoners of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and up to one thousand (1,000) prisoners of the other side will be released by March 10, 2020, the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations, which corresponds to Rajab 15, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Hoot 20, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar.
Part One: Language concerning Prisoners & Sanctions
C: Up to five thousand (5,000) prisoners of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and up to one thousand (1,000) prisoners of the other side will be released by March 10, 2020, the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations, which corresponds to Rajab 15, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Hoot 20, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar.
D: ..United States will initiate an administrative review of current U.S. sanctions and the rewards list against members of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban with the goal of removing these sanctions by August 27, 2020…
E: ...the United States will start diplomatic engagement with other members of the United Nations Security Council and Afghanistan to remove members of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban from the sanctions list with the aim of achieving this objective by May 29, 2020, which corresponds to Shawwal 6, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Jawza 9, 1399 on the Hijri Solar calendar.
Part One - F is for WTFINGF
I’m going to leave this long forgotten Pompeo thread right here and then I’m going to leave this ICC thread right here —because you shouldn’t review the February 2020 Taliban Agreement in a vacuum. At the time the Trump Administration was up to its eyeballs in faux agreements with North Korea & the Taliban & knew how deadly COVID-19 was. This heralded agreement (of complete diplomatic bullshit) was also announced in the middle of Pompeo’s own ethical growing shitstorm. Trump’s transactional foreign policy doctrine. Because that was Trump’s Foreign Policy doctrine;
how can this make me richer and ,
how can this make me look good
it was never about “America First” it was always about Donald Trump First
the United States will start diplomatic engagement with other members of the United Nations Security Council and Afghanistan to remove members of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban from the sanctions list with the aim of achieving this objective by May 29, 2020, which corresponds to Shawwal 6, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Jawza 9,1399 on the Hijri Solar calendar.
In conjunction with the announcement of this agreement, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban will take the following steps to prevent any group or individual, including al-Qa’ida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies:
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan…Taliban will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qa’ida, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan… Taliban will send a clear message that those who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies have no place in Afghanistan… instruct members of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan… the Taliban will prevent any group or individual in Afghanistan from threatening the security of the United States and its allies, and will prevent them from recruiting, training, and fundraising and will not host them in accordance with the commitments in this agreement.
What ever happened to the principled doctrine that;
…the United States of America does NOT negotiate with terrorist…ever…
The United States will request the recognition and endorsement of the United Nations Security Council for this agreement.
The United States and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban seek positive relations with each other and expect that the relations between the United States and the new post-settlement Afghan- Islamic government as determined by the intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations will be positive.
The United States will seek economic cooperation for reconstruction with the new postsettlement (sic) Afghan Islamic government as determined by the intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations, and will not intervene in its internal affairs.
Signed in Doha, Qatar on February 29, 2020, which corresponds to Rajab 5,1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Hoot 10, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar, in duplicate, in Pashto, Dari, and English languages, each text being equally authentic.
So it would be really important to reframe the current media shitstotm in the correct context. As I previously stated that if the Biden Administration did something that I vehemently disagreed with I wouldn’t hold back criticism. Notwithstanding it is paramount that you also know the (very limited) details of the February 2020 signed and ratified agreement that the Trump Administration “negotiated”
The bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Taliban was absolutely flawed from the beginning —mainly because the (then) Government of Afghanistan was essentially iced out of the negotiations. The US-Taliban agreement has two “interconnected” guarantees:
the withdrawal of all U.S. and international forces by May 2021, and
unspecified Taliban action to prevent other groups from using Afghan soil to threaten the United States and its allies.
If you followed me on Twitter you might recall that thread where I asked a few questions, noted the lack of specificity and almost nothing in terms of enforcement that it was a completely one sided agreement and it wasn’t executed in good faith. Like everything with the Trump Administration —once you scratch the surface you soon realize the lacking materiality and enforcement. In short nearly everything Trump’s Foreign Policy doctrine “accomplished” was nothing more than a great photo op and control of a few cable news cycles. But when things get tough —no worries the Trump Administration pivots to “Biden is weak” and yet the MSM falls for it every time. With that said I still do not agree with the Biden Administration. The miscalculation here is stunning and yes I know it’s easy to sharply criticize the current Administration —because none of us have the full set of facts.
Notwithstanding - I highly recommend you bookmark this Congressional Research Service page:
Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy: In Brief (R45122) or simply read each report - I’ve embedded the most recent reports and I think if you read Version 47 it will help you understand this incredibly complex matter.
June 11, 2021 (R45122 - Version: 47)
June 11, 2021 (R45122 - Version: 46)
March 25, 2021 (R45122 - Version: 45)
March 25, 2021 (R45122 - Version: 44)
November 10, 2020 (R45122 - Version: 43)
November 10, 2020 (R45122 - Version: 42)
June 25, 2020 (R45122 - Version: 41)
June 25, 2020 (R45122 - Version: 40)
May 01, 2020 (R45122 - Version: 39)
March 11, 2020 (R45122 - Version: 37)
March 11, 2020 (R45122 - Version: 36)
Or at the very minimum read the “in Brief” as the facts contained herein answer a few questions —specifically what was the catalyst for the Biden Administration to move forward with the complete withdrawal…
…and to be clear I’m not a foreign policy or intelligence community expert, I’m just an ordinary American looking for facts so I can make a better informed opinion. And once more facts are disclosed perhaps that will cause others to reevaluate their ascertainment. That said I think it’s fair to critique or even question the Biden Administration’s but once I received that email from AFPI I realized that perhaps my readers should know where they can gather facts.
At any rate I have to get back to my bonbons because don’t most normal adults spend their lunchtime chasing down CRS reports? And lastly I genuinely look forward from hearing President Biden address the Nation. While acknowledging how dispiriting this must be for current members of our Military and especially our Veterans and the nearly 2,200+ families of our fallen soldiers. Again I might be naive in giving President Biden a chance to inform the American people. Nor does that mean I’m willing to give him or his administration a hall pass.
Updated August 16, 2021 at 5:31PM
Live White House President Biden
and now you should understand why I wanted my readers to have the February 2020 Trump Pompeo Taliban Agreement because hearing President Biden talk. He was put in a bad or worse situation -either proceed with the Trump-Pompeo-Taliban agreement and get Americans home - or prepare for a blood bath. Afghanistan leaders/Government completely collapsed and the Afghanistan Military crumbled.
I am not happy with the Biden Administration comments about the Women, Children and emergency visas to quickly evacuate Afghans that helped our Military… again I don’t like what the Biden Administration did, the miscalculation of how quickly Taliban took over Afghanistan —but I understand the choice he was forced to make —again I just don’t like it.
Today’s briefing greatly expanded on his statement from two days ago, which reads in part:
America went to Afghanistan 20 years ago to defeat the forces that attacked this country on September 11th. That mission resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden over a decade ago and the degradation of al Qaeda. And yet, 10 years later, when I became President, a small number of U.S. troops still remained on the ground, in harm’s way, with a looming deadline to withdraw them or go back to open combat.
Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in U.S. history. One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.
Live at 4:30PM DOD Press Conference
Live stream here
August 16, 2021 -Taliban Take Kabul, U.S. Troops Arrive to Facilitate Departures
Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban, and U.S. troops now in the country are working to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of U.S., allied and Afghan partners from the country.
U.S. operations in Kabul are centered at the airport. "We are working to reestablish security at Hamid Karzai International Airport following breaches overnight that emanated from the civilian side of the airfield," Kirby said. "At this time, out of an abundance of caution, there are no flights coming or going, military or civilian."
This is due to the large crowds on the southern side of the airfield. U.S. troops are working with Turkish soldiers and troops from other partner nations to clear the tarmac of the crowds so air operations can resume, Kirby said. There have been at least two incidents, Kirby said, and two armed Afghans were killed by U.S. troops.
American forces continue to flow into Kabul as part of this non-combatant evacuation operation.
"Currently, there are approximately 2,500 U.S. troops at the airport," the press secretary said. "Over the next 24 hours we expect additional forces to arrive from both the 82nd Airborne Division and a battalion from a Marine Expeditionary Unit. That should bring our force level to over 3,000."
Congress weighs in…
Again you are under zero obligation to agree with me —it’s okay to disagree but I trust the Biden Administration in making sound and pragmatic decisions. I don’t like the miscalculation by those in charge that gave the administration the data that stated it would take the Taliban 6 months to takeover. But I do trust President Biden when he says
“the buck stops with me… there was never a good time to leave Afghanistan and I’m not going to give this war to another president”
If you want to read more about the emergency and special Visas for Afghans who are the most vulnerable because they helped our Military — see May 18, 2021 letter from Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Afghans whose lives remain at risk, we have identified the following areas where we would like to work with your Administration to best support the SIV program:
The authorization of at least 20,000 additional visas for fiscal year (FY) 2022 to begin to account for the individuals who are at risk of retaliation for their work in support of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. While this would be an increase over previous years, it is necessary to do all that we can in support of the program while the U.S. has the in- country capacity to do so;
Review of the SIV program’s process and capacity, as required in the Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration;
Address the backlog of applications that has left Afghan applicants languishing in a dangerous limbo;
Build and expand the existing infrastructure necessary for the remote processing of SIVs;
Evaluate the application process through Embassy Kabul’s Chief of Mission and review the paperwork burden and documentary requirements that slow application adjudication;
Encourage and facilitate the involvement of our intelligence agencies and special operations community to advance the cases of those Afghans who supported US actions in a clandestine manner
Review and consider options to evacuate to a safer location SIV applicants with pending applications who may face extreme danger in Afghanistan until the adjudication of their applications.
Senator Warner’s Statement
Again the one criticism (which I think it’s fair game) there are going to be a lot of tough questions. Because this was a huge miscalculation and it’s hard to formulate an informed opinion because none of us know all the facts. Beyond the footage playing on loop on Cable News
Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Iraqi & Afghan Translators-Interpreters
You can read the whole process for the SIVs for Afghan translators/Interpreters via this State Department link, found here
Section 1059 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, authorizes the issuance of up to 50 Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) annually to Iraqi and Afghan translators and interpreters working for the U.S. military and who meet certain requirements. An amendment to Section 1059 expanded the total number of visas to 500 per year for FY 2007 and FY 2008 only.
In FY 2009, the number of visas available for this category reverted to 50 annually. As amended, the Act provides for SIV status for eligible Iraqi or Afghan translators and interpreters, who have worked directly with the U.S. Armed Forces or under Chief of Mission (COM) authority at U.S. Embassy Baghdad or U.S. Embassy Kabul. For more information about the relevant U.S. laws, see References - U.S. Laws, numbers 1, 2, and 3.
In addition to the information on this website, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides information on Form I-360 petitions for this program.
This program is completely distinct from two other programs authorizing SIVs for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have worked for, or on behalf of, the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan, although some translators and interpreters may qualify under both programs. See SIVs for Afghan nationals.
Also see this Twitter thread which includes documents obtained by Fox News which substantiated the DOD and State Department and DHS are readying several military bases to house up to 30,000 Afghan Refugees or SIV recipients
United Nations Security Council -Afghanistan
Statement/Testimony by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield - U.S. Representative to the United Nations:
“…I want to reiterate, reemphasize, and reassert this call: civilian populations, including journalists and noncombatants, must be protected. Attacks against civilians or civilian objects must stop. And the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghan citizens – especially women, girls, and members of minority groups – must be respected. We also call on all parties to prevent terrorism, and we must all ensure Afghanistan cannot ever, ever again be a base for terrorism…”
Finally, and critically, all Afghan nationals and international citizens who wish to depart must be allowed to do so safely. President Biden has made clear that any action that put U.S. personnel or our mission at risk will be met with a swift and strong military response. The United States promises to be generous in resettling Afghans in our own country. And I am heartened by the pledges we’ve seen from other nations to do the same. We need to all do more, and the time to step up is now.
T. S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and President of the Security Council, on Afghanistan - Security Council statement is pretty unequivocal…
Again you don’t have to agree with me - but the fact is President Biden is now the 4th American President to handle “the endless war” and I do think that Congress has continued to abdicate its responsibility vis-a-vis their abject failure to address the decades old AUMF. But to be candid this withdrawal was messy and I wish President Biden would have just owned that…notwithstanding I understand and while I disagree with how this withdrawal went down. But I am hoping the documents and original source documents help you understand how fast moving and the very complex and sadly humanitarian crisis that’s unfolding before the global eyes. It is heartbreaking and maddening -Filey