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Trump Calls Off Meeting with Taliban Leaders at Camp David

The Primary: President Trump tweeted that he had cancelled a secret meeting with Taliban leaders to be held at Camp David.

  • Who? What? Why?: For the last year, the Trump administration has been quietly in talks with the Taliban about a potential peace deal. The talks culminated in a plan to meet at Camp David, a vacation get-away for U.S. presidents, three days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11. The talks were called off however, after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.

  • The Baseline: In response to Trump’s cancellation, Taliban spokespeople said the president showed “diminishing credibility.” But since Trump promised to bring peace to the Middle East in his 2016 campaign, it is likely this will not be the end of his efforts to quell at least some of the violence that has ravaged Afghanistan since 1978.

  • From the Left: Peter Bergen of CNN thinks Trump was smart to pull out of talks with the Taliban. While he agrees that peace in Afghanistan is ideal, the deal had a multitude of issues and hosting the Taliban leaders at Camp David right before 9/11’s anniversary is a bad time to negotiate.

  • From the Right: Max Boot of the Washington Post says Trump is better at breaking deals than making them. Like his negotiations turned trade war with China, the peace turned nuclear testing in North Korea, and his efforts to constrict Iran’s nuclear research backfiring, the Taliban negotiations are yet another moment Trump proves he can’t close a deal.

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