DOHA, Qatar (AP)
The United States and the Taliban have signed a peace agreement aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan, America’s longest.
The signing could help President Donald Trump fulfill a key campaign promise to extract America from its “endless wars.” Under the agreement, the U.S. will begin withdrawing thousands of troops in exchange for Taliban commitments to prevent Afghanistan from being a launchpad for terrorist attacks.
If the Taliban meet their commitments, all U.S. troops would leave in 14 months.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to overthrow the Taliban, who had hosted Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida as they planned and celebrated the assault.
THIS IS A MAJOR NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story is below.
The United States is poised to sign a peace agreement with Taliban militants on Saturday aimed at bringing an end to 18 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan and allowing U.S. troops to return home from America’s longest war.
President George W. Bush ordered the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Some U.S. troops currently serving there had not yet been born when the World Trade Center collapsed on that crisp, sunny morning that changed how Americans see the world.
It only took a few months to topple the Taliban and send Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaida militants scrambling across the border into Pakistan, but the war dragged on for years as the United States tried establish a stable, functioning state in one of the least developed countries in the world. The Taliban regrouped, and currently hold sway over half the country.