Taliban Left High and Dry for Secret Meeting

Taliban Left High and Dry for Secret Meeting

Taliban Left High and Dry for Secret Meeting

Over the weekend, the Taliban were getting ready for a super secret meeting with President Trump at Camp David. What’s more, this was to be the culmination of negotiations that would bring about a peace agreement. And then the troops would go home and Americans would rejoice.

Except this happened.

Trump then realized that you can’t do the Art of the Deal with religious fanatics who just want to kill you. So he called off the secret meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and members of the Taliban. As usual, he tweeted out his decision.

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday. . .” 

“Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to……an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people.”
“I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations.”

He finished with this:

“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight?”

The problem is that the Taliban lives for fighting, so more decades? Meh! But Americans, not so much. So now Trump won’t be able to fulfill his campaign promise to pull American troops from what he had said was an 18-year-long boondoggle.

Initially, Zalmay Khalilzad, Trump’s envoy to Afghanistan, had worked out a treaty with the Taliban over several months. The arrangement promised a draw-down of US troops in exchange for a partial cease-fire. At first, 5400 troops would leave within 135 days of the deal; the remaining 8600 within the following 16 months.

But as I wrote above, you just can’t cut a deal with zealots who want to kill as many Americans as possible. Apparently Trump finally saw the light and canceled the meeting. No pallets of cash to sweeten a bad bargain would be coming from him, either.

taliban

Credit: SeHi/flickr/CC BY 2.0.

Of course, not everyone likes that this entente went south. One anonymous Western official told the New York Times that this ending was “tragic,” and that restarting the process would be difficult. Now, fretted the official, other countries will conclude that you can’t trust the Americans.

Over at CNN, military analyst and retired Rear Admiral John Kirby doesn’t like this diplomatic fail either. He said this gives the Taliban a “boost of political legitimacy” and a “huge propaganda victory.” Well, of course. This is CNN.

But retired Gen. David Petraeus, the former American commander in Afghanistan, has warned that al Qaeda will return if American troops leave, while others point out how ISIS emerged after President Obama pulled troops from Iraq. Moreover, the folks at Long War Journal point out that the Taliban has continued its relationship with al Qaeda, and has even partnered with other jihadi groups.

I know that Trump promised to pull our troops out of Afghanistan. I also realize that the US has never fought such a long war; that Americans are sick of it and want our military home. Liberal peaceniks and libertarian ideologues will go bonkers, too, if Trump keeps troops in Afghanistan.

But the Taliban are not the type to keep their word. They’re extremists who oppress their countrymen and blow up people whom they see as “infidels.” Calling off this meeting was the right thing to do, but President Trump should’ve realized from the start that the Art of the Deal won’t work with terrorists.

 

Featured image: Jacob Freeze/flickr/cropped/CC BY 2.0.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

2 Comments
  • brightdark says:

    I really don’t care. Bring the troops home and warn the Taliban that if we need to come back we will start making glowing, green parking lots with InstantSunshine. Then do high altitude detonation to show that we aren’t kidding.

  • Drew458 says:

    Sick of it? I think the only Americans who are actually sick of it are the ones fighting in it and their families. The rest of the country has forgotten that the war even exists. It’s never on the news. Nothing ever gets reported from there, other than brief fleeting reports when one of our troops is killed.

    An entire generation of young fighters has been born since we’ve been there, and now they’ve grown up enough to take up arms against us.

    Back in late 2001, we pushed the Taliban out of Afghanistan all the way to Tora Bora at the Pakistan border in just 2 months. By the end of January 2002 our forces were in control of the entire country.

    It is the duplicity of Pakistan that is responsible for the 17 years of mess that came after that, mixed up with some idiotic ideas about nation building that our soft hearted leaders have. It isn’t worth it, it never was. They aren’t a nation: Afghanistan is the place that other nations don’t claim. Kill everyone, even in the “ungoverned” areas in western Pakistan, and go home. No one will care, no one will notice.

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