Trump Makes Surprise Thanksgiving Visit To US Troops In Afghanistan, Says Taliban Talks Have Resumed

November 29, 2019   |   by James G. Dalton

President Trump made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Thursday, his first as president, to visit troops for the Thanksgiving holiday. There, Trump said peace talks with the Taliban had resumed, speaking at a US air force base alongside Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

Trump landed at Bagram Airfield around 8:30 pm local time Thursday and greeted U.S. soldiers over a turkey dinner before meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at the airfield’s Air Force headquarters.

Following a meeting with Ghani, Trump told reporters that the Taliban “wants to make a deal” and that US officials were “meeting with them.” Trump also said that the Taliban was willing to agree to a ceasefire: “The Taliban wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire, and they didn’t want to do a cease-fire and now they want to do a cease-fire – I believe it’ll probably work out that way,” Trump said, standing alongside Ghani.

Trump also said that the US will continue to reduce its troop commitment to the region, from 12,000 now to about 8,600, but would like to go lower without impacting operational duties. “We can go much further than that, but we’ll have it all covered,” Trump said.

According to Bloomberg, both Trump and Ghani said it was an honor to meet. Trump spent about 45 minutes in the building where they met, with press in the room for only a portion of it. In brief remarks to reporters during the bilateral session, Ghani noted that U.S. combat casualties have fallen under Trump’s presidency. Trump took office after the NATO mission in Afghanistan shifted to a training and advisory role.

Ghani thanked Trump for his leadership and called for a deal that won’t give too much power to the Taliban, saying Trump should not put “limits on the type of peace that will ensure the gains of the past year, and will ensure your security and our freedom.”

“Please thank your families for agreeing to miss you on this special occasion at home and for being here defending United States security and our freedom. Together, we will succeed,” Ghani told the soldiers. “We will never permit the repetition of 9/11 again. God bless you, God bless the president.”

Speaking to the US troops, Trump reiterated that they’re working for a peace deal in Afghanistan. “Rest assured that my administration will always be committed to annihilating terrorists wherever they appear,” he said, adding that he looked forward to the day “when we can bring each and every one of you home and safe to your family, and that day is coming and coming very soon.”

Trump’s remarks covered many of the same themes as his campaign events, including discussing highs in the stock market, the recent death of a top Islamic State leader and the role that a U.S. military dog, Conan, played in that mission. He recalled serving turkey earlier to troops, and missing out on his own meal.

“I had a bit of mashed potatoes and I never got to my turkey,” Trump told soldiers at the rally, saying he instead went to take photos with servicemen and -women. “I should have started with that, and not the mashed potatoes. I made a mistake.”

“We’ve spent $2.5 trillion since I’ve been here, that’s a lot of money that we’ve rebuilt our military. It was depleted as you know,” Trump told troops seated for dinner. “I want to thank you very much and I’ll be talking to you later but right now I want to have some turkey, OK? I’m going to join you for a little lunch.”

After speaking to the troops, Trump then toured the room speaking with soldiers, who loudly cheered his arrival. “Thank you all very much, what a great job you do, it’s an honor to be here – it’s a long flight,” he said after arriving, to laughter from soldiers. “But we love it.”

The surprise visit and announcement came two months after Trump abruptly halted peace negotiations with the Taliban in early September after accusing them of seeking “false leverage” through a terrorist attack that killed 12 people, including a member of the American military.

The US had been engaged in negotiations with the Taliban and planned to hold further talks with Taliban leaders and president Ghani at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, but following the terrorist incident the talks never happened.

Trump has long hoped to strike a deal with the Taliban, which would allow him to claim he has succeeded in ending the war in Afghanistan, something that eluded both George W Bush and Barack Obama, his predecessors in the Oval Office.

via zerohedge

Recent Comments

  1. Debra Corra

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 3:18 pm

    God Bless our President! May God watch over him and keep him safe. President Trump is the Best President we have ever had.

    • Diana

      Reply
      November 29, 2019 @ 3:49 pm

      Amen…agree. President Trump has done so much for the people…cares about all people. The best president ever.

    • Marilyn Ehlers

      Reply
      November 29, 2019 @ 10:17 pm

      You are 100% correct. I agree with every word you have said. Thank you.

  2. Jimmie Gardner

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 3:27 pm

    What a blessing for our troops!!
    Thank you, President!!

  3. Betty6 Hickman

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 4:09 pm

    I would Say TRUMP GIVES HIS ALL TO HRLP AMERICA. HE IS AN AMERICAN HERO .

  4. linda

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 4:14 pm

    I agree!! Trump is the Best President we have had in my 72 years of life! God BLESS , and Take Good Care of President Trump

  5. ROB RAMPY

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 4:25 pm

    HEY JD….IT BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES TO
    SEE OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF WALK INTO THAT CROWD OF TROOPS.
    WHAT A CONTRAST TO SEEING BARRY
    SOWETO (PRETENDING TO BE BARACH
    HUSSEIN OBAMA) ADDRESS THE TROOPS–
    ALL THE WHILE HE WAS TAKING THE FANGS OUT OF OUR MILITARY A BUDGET PIECE AT A TIME–WHILE OUTRIGHT TURNING OUR NATION OVER TO THE ENEMY.
    I TRULY HOPE TO SEE DESERVED JUSTICE BE DONE WITH THAT TREASONOUS
    BASTARD.
    AS A U.S. MARINE ACTIVE RESERVIST FROM 1965 TO 1971 I KNOW I WOULD HAVE BEEN
    PROUD TO SALUTE DONALD TRUMP.
    HE SURE KEEPS HIS GUARDIAN ANGELS BUSY
    WHILE WORKING LIKE A DOG TO BRING
    SOME LEVEL OF RESTORATION BACK TO
    OUR PRECIOUS REPUBLIC.
    MAY OUR FATHER CREATOR CONTINUE TO GIVE HIM STRENGTH, WISDOM, AND
    PROTECTION.
    KEEP UP YOUR FINE WORK WITH MAGA
    NEWS. RR

  6. Kerry Hansen

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 5:15 pm

    Our President Trump is doing such a great job and just think, he is doing it with the damocrats trying to block him at every turn. The damocrats don’t care about WE the people. Even though they were previously in favor of and vote for things before, they now vote against the very same things! They would rather the United States do without rather to have something accomplished under President’s Trumps watch, how evil is that. And they say they care about us, B… S…When the November 2016 elections were about to take place, this 1950s era vet made a prayer. I prayed for TWO things, that my best friend would win his battle with cancer and that Donald Trump would win the Presidency. my prayers were answered for one. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  7. Michael Todd

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 6:16 pm

    Thank you for being our Best President since Ronald Reagan!!! 😄

  8. Fred Ferrara

    Reply
    November 29, 2019 @ 6:42 pm

    Our fantastic President continues to do the right thing, God Bless him and his family.

  9. Arthur E Behne

    Reply
    November 30, 2019 @ 12:55 am

    The dems should know what they have done to the people of the U.S and the rest of the free world .

  10. Dale Hammond

    Reply
    November 30, 2019 @ 3:33 am

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT for visiting our troops. PLEASE DO MORE OF IT!! I wrote some weeks ago encouraging you to VISIT THE TROOP. It means SO MUCH to them and to us non-military citizens. I am PROUD of you!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

  11. Mike

    Reply
    November 30, 2019 @ 3:39 pm

    Thank you President Trump for caring for our troops during the holidays. Lets not forget the ones that have already served. Bring them home to protect our own borders. We should have the people who are draining our economy and resources that want to become citizens serve in the military for 4 years

  12. Anna

    Reply
    November 30, 2019 @ 5:04 pm

    Dear President Trump , Happy Thanks giving to you & the First Lady & every soldier man & Woman everywhere, to thank them for serving on this blessed Thanksgiving & being there with them on a holiday when thy are separated from their families to let them know we have no abandoned them , & thank them for fighting for the USA, May god Bless every Soldier all over the Nation to keep them safe & in good health & to stop the fighting over religion in all foreign countries forever , & keep peace among st all foreign Countries and in our every neighborhood against the difference of religions For Presidents of all Foreign Countries to be responsible for their own economies, Health care, National Security, Border Security, & people forever. So ever human being born is cared for in their country .

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