A series of astonishing revelations rocked the internet after President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to reveal that he had invited leaders of the infamous terror group known as the Taliban to Camp David on Saturday, Sept. 7. He was doing this for the purpose of furthering peace talks between the United States and the terrorist organization. He revealed this while announcing to the world that he was officially calling off the peace talks as a way to punish the Taliban for continuing violent activity while in dialogue with the American government.
Over the past few months, the Trump administration has been trying to bring about an end to the 18 year war in Afghanistan. Talks to inch towards peace have taken place in Qatar since October and though specifics are unknown to the public, major developments include the creation of a finished agreement between various parties involved in the conflict, according to both a “New York Times” article and Taliban spokesmen—including Suhail Shaheen, who spoke with Al Jazeera writers in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
Four key issues need to be resolved between American and Taliban delegates. Those issues include: a need to secure a guarantee by the Taliban that it wouldn’t allow foreign fighters to use Afghanistan as a forward operating base against other nations, the withdrawal of both United States and NATO forces from Afghanistan, a dialogue between the various forces throughout Afghanistan and a permanent ceasefire.
This ceasefire was only meant to apply to conflicts outside of Afghanistan, according to Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States special representative for Afghan Reconciliation. What this means on a practical level is that any meaningful ceasefire within Afghanistan would come about as a result of more localized negotiations between the government of Afghanistan and Taliban leadership.
Trump’s own administration, like much of the American public, appears divided on how to approach the Taliban and especially whether or not the President’s tactics. One key critic of the President’s unusual approach to diplomacy and negotiations with the terror cell came from within the White House from former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
The third National Security Advisor from the administration was critical of many attempts by the President met and worked with dangerous players on the global stage, not the least of which are the Taliban’s leaders. Following the decision by the President to reveal and subsequently cancel the meeting that was to take place in Camp David, the president either asked the former National Security Advisor to resign or Bolton offered to resign himself.
Camp David is more than just a refugee for presidents. Throughout its long history, it’s been a place of private deal-making between major leaders and visitors to it include world-leaders such as Israeli prime ministers, presidents of various countries and other high profile dignities. Past peace deals that have been brokered in Camp David include the peace agreement which addressed the hostility between Israel and Egypt in the wake of the war now known as the Yom Kippur War, or the October War. That peace agreement is now known as the Camp David Accords.