President Trump tweeted last night that he is canceling peace negotiations with the Taliban. He revealed details of a planned secret meeting at Camp David between U.S. officials, the Afghan government and the Taliban that was supposed to take place this weekend. The stated reason for the cancellation — a suicide attack that killed multiple people, including a U.S. soldier on Thursday. Trump wrote, what kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? Many things about this announcement are surprising.
Joining us now from Islamabad is NPR's Pentagon correspondent, Tom Bowman, who is travelling around the region with the head of Central Command Four-Star General Kenneth Frank McKenzie. Welcome.
TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We've known for a while that a deal with the Taliban may have been close, but this was an unorthodox way of announcing it, to say the least. It is surprising that the peace deal was going to be cemented on U.S. soil. What has been the reaction?
BOWMAN: Well, first of all, from the Taliban, the reaction was they learned about it from media reports. They had no idea this was going to happen. And so they kind of all assembled. They were going to enter Taliban meetings to decide a response. It took a few hours. And they basically say the Americans will pay for this. So that's been their reaction. The Afghan government, meanwhile, applauded what President Trump had to say about the cancellation and the call for a cease-fire. And that's kind of where we are now. We don't have a sense of the way ahead at this point.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been doing the rounds on cable this morning. And here's what he said to Jake Tapper on CNN when asked about the timing and location of this secret meeting.
(SOUNDBITE OF CNN BROADCAST)
MIKE POMPEO: If the Taliban don't behave, if they don't deliver on the commitments that they've made to us now for weeks and, in some cases, months, president of the United States is not going to reduce the pressure. We're not going to reduce our support for the Afghan security forces that have fought so hard there in Afghanistan.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: He's essentially saying there that the ends would've justified the means. How do you expect that that will go over with the different players in Afghanistan now?
BOWMAN: Well, from what we've been hearing, the American military will likely increase strikes and attacks on Taliban locations, including leaders. And the Taliban could very well respond in kind, going after, let's say, soft targets, civilian targets and so forth. So that's going to be a real concern going forward. And what we've been hearing for months now is that the Taliban — the political leadership is not unified. There are differences of opinion on negotiating table that some Taliban or more, let's say, conservative and not really willing to have a deal — you also have the military commanders in Afghanistan — the Taliban military commanders who may not agree to a deal. So they could continue fighting. That's been the problem all along. The Taliban is a fragmented organization. So we'll likely see more Taliban attacks and more American attacks on the Taliban. That's the way ahead, I think.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Over the past few months, as you mentioned, the Taliban has been launching multiple suicide attacks, including an especially horrific one on a wedding. They have used this as leverage throughout the negotiating process. So I guess the question is, was there something different about this attack that might've prompted this response from the president?
BOWMAN: I think a couple of things, Lulu. I think, first of all, they expected a few days after this horrific attack — this attack that killed 12 people, including an American soldier from Puerto Rico — that, you know, they expected to have talks. And the American soldier was killed. I think that was part of it. And that's what the — President Trump mentioned in his tweet. So that was a big part of this, I think — that the American soldier was killed.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman from Islamabad, thank you very much.
BOWMAN: You're welcome.
昨晚，特朗普总统发推称他将取消与塔利班的和平谈判 。他透露了原定于本周末在戴维营举行的秘密会谈的细节，会谈参与方为美国官员、阿富汗政府和塔利班 。取消原因是周四发生的一起自杀式袭击致多人死亡，其中包括一名美国士兵 。特朗普在推文中写道：什么样的人会为了加强自已的谈判地位而杀害如此多的人？特朗普这篇推文中公布的许多事情都相当出人意料 。
加西亚·纳瓦罗：我们早就知道美国与塔利班可能会达成协议，但往轻里说，这种宣布方式并不正规 。令人惊讶的是，这项和平协议会在美国领土上达成 。各方对此有何反应？
鲍曼：首先来看塔利班方面，他们是从媒体报道得知的这个消息 。他们不知道特朗普会取消会谈 。因此，他们计划召开集会 。他们要举行塔利班会议，以决定如何回应 。会议持续了几个小时 。最终他们表示，美国会为此付出代价 。这是塔利班的回应 。阿富汗政府则赞扬了特朗普取消会谈的决定，并呼吁停火 。这就是目前的情况 。现在我们不知道前路会如何 。
加西亚·纳瓦罗：美国国务卿迈克·蓬佩奥今天上午一直游走于各大电视新闻媒体之间 。他在CNN接受杰克·塔珀采访时被问及这一秘密会谈的时间和地点，下面是蓬佩奥的回答 。
迈克·蓬佩奥：如果塔利班不规矩，不履行数周甚至是数个月以来对我们做出的承诺，那美国总统不会减少压力 。我们不会减少对阿富汗安全部队的支持，该部队一直在阿富汗进行艰苦战斗 。
鲍曼：从我们了解到的情况来看，美军很可能加大对塔利班场所和领导人的打击和攻击 。塔利班也会以同样的方式进行回应，他们可能会袭击软目标和平民目标等 。这是未来的一个切实担忧 。数个月以来，我们一直听说塔利班的政治领导层并不团结 。谈判桌上有各种不同的意见，一些塔利班成员或者说更为保守的塔利班成员不太愿意达成协议，而且塔利班在阿富汗的军事指挥官也可能不同意签署协议 。因此，他们可能会继续斗争 。这是一直存在的问题 。塔利班是分散的组织 。我们很可能看到塔利班发动更多袭击，而且美国也会增加对塔利班的袭击 。我认为这是之后会发生的情况 。
加西亚·纳瓦罗：如你所说，过去几个月以来，塔利班制造了多起自杀式袭击，其中一场在婚礼现场发动的袭击尤为可怕 。他们把袭击当作谈判过程中的砝码 。我想知道，令总统取消会谈的这起袭击有何不同之处？
鲍曼：露露，有几点不同 。首先，他们预计袭击发生几天之后要举行会谈，而这起袭击导致12人死亡，包括一名来自波多黎各的美国士兵 。一名美军士兵在袭击中身亡 。我认为这是部分原因 。特朗普总统在推文中提到了这点 。美军士兵在袭击中死亡，这是取消会谈的重要原因 。
1. to say the least 轻则；往轻里说；客气点说；
Accommodation was basic to say the least.
2. do the rounds 到各处去；巡回参观；
We could do the rounds of the galleries.
3. in kind 以同样的方式；
They hurled defiant taunts at the riot police, who responded in kind.
4. and so forth 及诸如此类；等等；
The patient can have apples, apple juice, apple sauce, and so forth.