Trump and his team can’t agree on something incredibly important. Trump and his advisers can’t agree on our country’s policy on Afghanistan.
In an interview with Fox News radio, Trump said the U.S. is going to keep “a presence” in Afghanistan. “We’re going down to 8,600 and then we make a determination from there,” the president said. “We’re always going to have a presence.”
This is not what the people employed to negotiate between America and Afghanistan are agreeing on, apparently! According to reporting from The Daily Beast, the current deal on the table is “an almost complete withdrawal of American troops by the 2020 election.”
The one point of contention among negotiators is the plan of exiting Afghanistan. From the Beast:
As [Ambassador Zalmay] Khalilzad inches closer to a deal with both parties, those read in on the negotiations have said that there are mixed messages emanating from various agencies within the Trump administration about troop limits, when forces would leave and what conditions the U.S. would put in place for the Taliban as a precursor to the withdrawal.
Not only did Trump’s interview contradict the work of his negotiators, but Trump later reminded Fox News of the nearly two-decade occupation of Afghanistan could continue. If there was an attack on American soil by Afghanis, “We would come back with a force like ... never before,” Agence France-Presse reported.
So, yes, everything is fine at the Trump White House and State Department.