Deal With Taliban Will Free American and Australian Professors, Officials Say

The expected exchange, including senior members of the Haqqani network of the Taliban, is likely to be a step toward new peace talks.

Comments: 24

  1. You know he will take "credit" for this, but since the Afghan government is releasing prisoners in exchange for the professors, it clearly appears this exchange is made despite Trump rather than because of him.

  2. Since this prisoner swap is clearly US sanctioned as we negotiated for the American’s release, is the GOP and a Trump going to acknowledge that Obama was right about Bergdahl? Don’t hold your breath. I’m all for these exchanges and will credit Trump for making it a priority. The fact is that holding a terrorist is important, but rarely stems the violence, so why not bring home the innocents. I respect all people that go into dangerous regions to promote education and positive values, but it does put others at risk.

  3. Seriously, why do folks insist on going to countries who are the enemy and an active war zone?! Was there no where else in the world they could teach at? How could these well educated gentlemen not know they would be targets of the Taliban simply because of the countries they come from? Now both country has to give up leverage for them when it could be better used in other areas in the peace negotiation process..

  4. @Independent American Seriously, let's not blame people who have been victimized.

  5. @Independent American Yep. The university was shut down for seven months after terror attacks several years ago. And it is now under investigation for not being able to account for 63 million sent by USAID. What a mess.

  6. @Independent American "Seriously, why do folks insist on going to countries who are the enemy and an active war zone?" Seriously, some are sent there. By whom? Oh, I wonder.

  7. Oh, we all know who will be announcing this “greatest breakthrough in the history of the United States” all because of himself! Not minimizing the release, just wishing Trump would not make it into a narcissistic event.

  8. When will westerners learn to stay out of North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran and any other country that has similar problems with regard to fake arrests for spying or other contrived reasons.

  9. I think it's great the Americans will be released but giving the Taliban they're senior command structure looks like the beginning of the end for a civil Afghan government. This administration works better with murderous thugs than our former partners in the world. Meanwhile the American public sleeps.

  10. While I of course want to see our captives released, it seems we are giving back people who were leaders in planning and participating and/or increasing violence in exchange for lay people. I would have thought that the U.S. would have more leverage to get more people out for giving back military-related operatives and relatives of Taliban and Taliban leadership. The cynic in me says we are in a weakened negotiating position because our president is desperate for 'wins' at home. That being said, I am still grateful for the safe return of these American captives.

  11. @Debbie The cynic in ME says the trump had very little to do with making it happen. He was busy getting dressed for a victory lap.

  12. Great. We get a bunch of Leftist Liberals, they get their commanders back. Some deal that is.

  13. And the two professors are leftist liberals because...? They had the nerve to teach overseas? Otherwise I agree with your post.

  14. @AutumnLeaf What is wrong with being a "leftist liberal?" Are they somehow less deserving of rescue?

  15. @Countrywoman Replace "nerve" in your comment with "stupidity." Anybody with insufficient smarts to avoid such locations is not worth saving.

  16. This deal amounts to holding up a sign saying "please carry out more kidnappings to force us to release more prisoners".

  17. @Stephen Merritt and therefore we should do what instead?

  18. @kenneth We should do nothing. These "victims" volunteered to become hostages by simply going into the region to "do good." How much more foolish can one be? That we should release enemy commanders to save these benighted folks is a poor trade, indeed.

  19. I would disagree that these Western hostages are not worth the release of Senior Commanders of the Taliban. One teacher is worth 100 soldiers and one Doctor 500 soldiers. That is why the Taliban and ISIS target them. This war will end when teachers and doctors win it. Not soldiers. The Taliban know this.

  20. While I no longer trust the elected politicians as far as I can throw them, I think the last month has taught us that there is a 'wall', somewhat battered at the moment, protecting the better interest of the USA and our people - career diplomats. America maintains a pretty strict policy on non-negotiations for kidnap victims. I suspect this deal has been a long time in the works, meticulously considered. I think we must trust the judgement of these career diplomats - as long as trump is kept away.

  21. They will just take more hostages. Too many of us are fool enough to go to these places.

  22. The positive tone of this article is not in the least justified. The Taliban is not interested in any kind of "reconciliation". They are extremists, fanatics, and will settle for nothing less than complete control, the establishment of a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist state with their interpretation of the Qur'an and Sharia as enforced national policy. During their rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban and their allies committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes. This is not "step toward reopening peace talks" or any other kind of advance, except that they now know they can always get any captured leaders back by picking up innocent Western bystanders and use them as bargaining chips. The battle will continue until the Taliban rule, or they are exterminated. Trump has already reinvigorated ISIS in Syria, and will do the same in Afghanistan, each time crowing about his "accomplishments." Maybe the US can reestablish its reputation in the world when Trump is gone. Maybe. But things get worse on a weekly basis.

  23. Last year, the F.B.I. offered a $1 million reward for information about Mr. King and Mr. Overby. When a police agency-especially an American one that allows itself to be portrayed as all knowing, all capable and all powerful "force", must beg for intercession from foreigners and "smart" people and offer immense sums for information, it has proved it has little reason for continued existence. Other agencies- even the FAA, that don't carry guns and pretend to omnisience, can offer money , and without making so many waves and threatening to lock up or kill people. What a shame to see once admired US agencies reduced to hiding behind flag lapel pins , empowered only by the ability to hand out wads of hundred dollar bills to almost anyone.

  24. It is time that Americans who travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen and other troubled hotspots understand that they are risking their lives. the couple that backpacked across Pakistan/Afghanistan are good examples of hubris and being self centered. US soldiers should not be put in danger or our countries interest sacrificed for these irresponsible individuals.