US-Taliban Deal Allows Trump to Brag About “Peace” Without Having to Achieve It
A paper that lets Trump say he's withdrawing without having to actually order it
I would love it if this were a real peace agreement, and the US removed all of its troops, but I am afraid it is not.
This highly contrived agreement is not about peace.
It’s about giving Trump a few scraps to brag over in the election, as though he kept his election promises concerning the military.
It is extremely unlikely that anything will happen beyond the first stage of the agreement, which just brings American troops back where they were before Trump’s clumsy efforts.
The government of Afghanistan is not even a party to the agreement. And I’m pretty sure the Pentagon wants troops to remain in a place bordering on Iran and China.
This “peace” has the same sense and substance as Trump’s efforts in North Korea or his “withdrawal” from Syria or his “peace through perpetual captivity” for Palestine.
As with all Trump’s “achievements” in foreign affairs, the terms of the signed American-Taliban agreement lack clarity and certainty. And they do not represent a genuine peace Trump will certainly brag about in the upcoming election.
Troops will be reduced to 8,600 over the next five months. Five bases will be closed. All the rest of the American and NATO troops could leave by the end of 14 months if the Taliban adheres to the agreement’s conditions which include, importantly, holding peace talks with the Kabul government they do not recognize as legitimate.
That is a big “if” because Kabul is not a party to the agreement, and just exactly what is to be achieved between Kabul and the Taliban, in order for the remaining troops to leave, is not clear. And the government in Kabul has not yet even settled who won the last presidential election, so the Taliban’s actual negotiating partner is not known.
The deal promises to work on a large prisoner exchange between the Taliban and Kabul, but there are certainly disincentives for Kabul releasing large numbers of Taliban prisoners.
As to the idea of a “peace dividend” some are speaking of in the US, even if this were a real peace agreement, there can be no such thing as a “peace dividend” with the military/security establishment spending a trillion dollars a year, and all of it borrowed.
Just a few days ago at this writing, the United States violated its own agreement with the Taliban. And American fighter jet bombed a Taliban unit that was engaged in fighting at an Afghan government checkpoint. The agreement does not govern current hostilities between the government and the Taliban.
Also, the current Afghan President has said that any release of prisoners must be negotiated, while the Taliban refuse to start talks until the prisoners are released. Note that the Afghan President’s rival for office, the legitimacy of last election being questioned, tends to support the Taliban’s position. The agreement calls for the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners and for the Taliban to release about 1,000 government prisoners by March 10. But, again, the Afghan government is not even a party to Trump’s odd notion of a foreign policy achievement.
Source: Chuckman’s Words