President Donald Trump is now touting a “peace deal” reached with the Taliban that will supposedly bring an end to America’s longest war in Afghanistan. But as conservative foreign policy expert Max Boot explained, it’ll likely implode into a disaster.
The United States has been at war in Afghanistan since 2001, losing 2,420 troops in the last 19 years and over 22,000 wounded. Afghan security forces, meanwhile, have lost over 60,000 trying to defend their democratic government from Taliban forces who want to return to power.
Keep in mind that the Taliban provided safe haven for Osama Bin Laden, enabling him to plan and carry out the 9/11 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and killed nearly 3,000.
But Trump is so desperate to brag about an “achievement” that he made a deal with the Taliban on Saturday.
And it’s a bad deal that could result in Afghanistan ending up right back where it was prior to 9/11, setting the stage for terrorists to seek safe haven there while planning the next attack against the United States.
Conservative columnist and foreign policy expert Max Boot roundly condemned the deal in a piece for the Washington Post, and compared it to the 1973 deal that ended the Vietnam War.
“It has been heartening to see a steep reduction in violence over the past week — a U.S. precondition for signing the deal — but there is no agreement on a permanent cease-fire, much less a resolution of all the issues that divide the democratically elected Afghan government from the Taliban,” Boot wrote. “What was signed on Saturday is an agreement to try to reach an agreement. To get even this far, the United States had to drop its long-standing demand for intra-Afghan negotiations to precede a U.S. troop drawdown.”
“The ugly scenario would look like South Vietnam,” Boot continued. “The 1973 Paris Peace Accords brought an end to the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam, but North Vietnam began violating its terms at once. Two years later, the weakened state of South Vietnam was overrun by a North Vietnamese blitzkrieg. America’s abandoned allies had to flee or be consigned to brutal ‘reeducation’ camps.”
History appears to be repeating itself. Once American troops are gone, nothing stands in the way of Taliban forces taking over and killing anyone who tries to stop them. Just as Trump betrayed our Kurdish allies in Syria, he is now betraying our Afghan allies.
“If I had to bet now, I would say that the ‘ugly’ scenario is the most likely and the ‘good’ scenario the least likely,” Boot explained. “The ‘bad’ scenario — with the Taliban dominating an ostensibly democratic government at gunpoint — is in the middle in terms of probability. How bad it would be depends on whether the Taliban would try to enforce their medieval mores on city dwellers, as they did in the 1990s, or whether, like Hezbollah, they would now tolerate different social systems in different parts of the country. The odds are they will be as brutal as ever — though they have promised to be more progressive in the future.”
Of course, Trump is waiting until after the election to withdraw U.S. forces. After all, he doesn’t want the Taliban to run roughshod over our allies and take over the country before Election Day.
Making this deal with the Taliban is an insult to the memory of the 9/11 victims and all the soldiers who died in Afghanistan. It will only weaken our position in the Middle East and allow terrorists to thrive there once more, making America less safe. This war needs to come to an end, but not at the expense of our allies and a return to the days of a regime that freely provides sanctuary to those who would do us harm.
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