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Trump Orders Pre-Inauguration Troop Withdrawals in Afghanistan and Iraq

November 18, 2020
Nancy Youssef, Gordon Lubold | The Wall Street Journal
The Pentagon on Tuesday announced a drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, instituting orders given by President Trump to reduce the American military presence there days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
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Trump Says He Wants All Troops in Afghanistan Home by Christmas, Going Further Than Security Adviser

October 8, 2020
Nancy Youssef, Gordon Lubold | The Wall Street Journal
President Trump tweeted late Wednesday that all American troops should be out of Afghanistan by Christmas, a new goal post for ending the long-running conflict that caught his own Pentagon flat-footed.
Bookshelf

The Washington Week Bookshelf: "To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq"

August 7, 2020
On the Washington Week Extra, New York Times Magazine writer at large and National Geographic contributing writer Robert Draper discusses his latest book, "To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq.”
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White House does not plan any immediate response over intelligence reports on Russian bounties targeting U.S. troops

July 2, 2020
Josh Dawsey, Ellen Nakashima, Karen DeYoung, Shane Harris | The Washington Post
The White House is not planning an immediate response to intelligence reports of Russian bounties given to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan because President Trump does not believe the reports are true or “actionable,” according to two senior administration officials.
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Trump calls reports of Russian bounties on U.S. troops a “hoax”

July 2, 2020
Weijia Jiang | CBS News
President Trump called reports of alleged Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan a “hoax,” noting he was never verbally briefed on the supposed plot. National security adviser Robert O’Brien said the raw intelligence was worrisome enough to share with the military.
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A Secret Accord With the Taliban: When and How the U.S. Would Leave Afghanistan

March 9, 2020
David Sanger, Eric Schmitt, Thomas Gibbons-Neff | The New York Times
In a secure facility underneath the Capitol, members of Congress stopped by all last week to review two classified annexes to the Afghan peace accord with the Taliban that set the criteria for a critical element of the agreement: What constitutes enough “peace” for the United States to withdraw its forces? The Taliban have read the annexes. Nonetheless, the Trump administration insists that the secret documents must remain secret, though officials have struggled to explain why to skeptical lawmakers.
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Trump Speaks With a Taliban Leader

March 4, 2020
Michael Crowley | The New York Times
President Trump spoke on Tuesday with the deputy leader of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in the latest sign of his determination to see that a peace deal signed Saturday with the Afghan insurgent group holds, allowing him to withdraw thousands of American troops in an election year.
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US, Taliban sign deal aimed at ending war in Afghanistan

February 29, 2020
Matthew Lee , Kathy Gannon | AP News
The United States signed 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.
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Democrats’ Afghan Strategy Sounds Familiar. It’s a Lot Like Trump’s.

September 16, 2019
David Sanger, Maggie Astor | The New York Times
Now, the candidates are racing one another — and President Trump — to demonstrate how quickly they would end the long-running conflict. In the debate on Thursday night, there was almost no discussion of American goals for the country, like building a democracy or protecting the rights of women — objectives that were staples of past Democratic campaigns.
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