The Trump administration brokered a deal with the Taliban on Saturday, which prompted top Republicans in the House to express concern, saying the insurgents won’t live up to their end of the bargain and arguing that the agreement puts the country’s national security at risk, according to The Hill.
President Trump spoke on the phone Tuesday with the Taliban’s chief negotiator in the first known conversation between a U.S. president and the Taliban since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“We had a good conversation. We’ve agreed there’s no violence,” Trump said of his call with the co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Under the deal signed Saturday, the U.S. military must decrease troop levels to 8,600 in 135 days. The deal also lays out a timeline for a full U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 14 months if the Taliban lives up to its commitments.
The Taliban committed to “not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”
Rep. Liz Cheney, one of the top Republicans in the House, said the deal “includes concessions that could threaten the security of the United States," in a Feb. 29 statement.
“I’ve expressed my serious concerns about the lack of verification mechanism, about the commitment and the agreement that we would go to zero and primarily about the fact that what we have here are a number of promises by the Taliban,” Cheney, whose father, Dick Cheney, was vice president at the start of the Afghanistan War, said.
“Many of them are promises that have been made before, and I think that the decisions about American troop levels in Afghanistan have to be made based on America’s national security interests, not based on empty promises from the Taliban and an agreement that doesn’t have any disclosed verification mechanism,” she added.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.) encouraged Republican lawmakers to review the documents, saying “you want to know all of the details before someone makes an opinion about it” during a press conference on Tuesday.
"What we have seen with this agreement now concerns me as much as the Iranian nuclear deal did, now that I have seen the documents and now that there seems to be still no verification mechanism by which we are going to enforce any of the so-called Taliban promises," Cheney said.