The United States and Taliban militants signed a historic peace treaty on Saturday, a major step toward ending the 18-year-long war in Afghanistan, which is America's longest war.
The treaty lays out a timetable for the withdrawal of the roughly 13,000 U.S. troops still stationed in the country, contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. The deal calls for the number of U.S. troops to be reduced to 8,600 within 135 days with the goal of complete withdrawal in 14 months.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about the agreement in front of Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar, saying:
"We will closely watch the Taliban's compliance with their commitments and calibrate the pace of our withdrawal to their actions. This is how we will ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a base for international terrorists."
? The U.S. originally invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks, which were planned by al-Qaeda leaders being protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The war has cost $2 trillion and taken the lives of more than 3,500 American and coalition troops.