You may have noticed that the United States signed a “treaty” with the Taliban pertinent to Afghanistan that will lead to the end of hostilities between the US and the Taliban.
The US has been at war with the the Taliban for 18 years making this the longest war in US history.
President Trump now delivers on one of his critical campaign promises — getting the US out of foreign entanglements and unending wars. He has now:
1. Destroyed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant;
2. Made the Caliphate disappear;
3. Killed the Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi;
4. Almost gotten us out of Syria; and,
5. Made a tentative peace in Afghanistan.
Is Afghanistan a victory for the US, Big Red Car?
In a word, NO. The treaty is like dismounting a dinosaur — it is a hard thing to do and you will want to run away as fast as you can to avoid getting killed by the dinosaur or its tail.
Here’s the trade:
1. The US and the Taliban have made a faux week of peace as a prelude to signing the deal in Doha, Qatar.
You may remember the Taliban were to come to Camp David on 4 July 2019 to sign a peace deal, but they flooded Afghanistan with violence forcing President Trump to spurn the deal.
2. The US is drawing down 5,000 combat troops from a total of 13,000 in Afghanistan. The remaining 8,000 US troops are tasked with ensuring the Taliban lives up to their end of the bargain.
If the Taliban meets their end of the deal, all US troops will depart in 14 months.
3. Some 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released from jails run by the Afghan government. It is not absolutely clear that the Afghan government will comply with that part of the deal as the deal was negotiated directly between the US and the Taliban.
4. The Taliban promises that it will not be the host for terror organizations focused on the US such as al Qaeda. You will want to remember that we went to war with the Taliban over their hosting terror training camps for al-Qaeda from which terrorists attacked the US on 11 September 2001.
If you believe this — Brooklyn Bridge, etc.
5. The Taliban promises to enter into complete ceasefire negotiations with the US in Oslo on 10 March 2020.
6. The Taliban promises to enter into negotiations with the Afghan central government as to the fate of the country. The Taliban controls half of the country while the Afghan central government controls the other half.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
OK, here are some BRC thoughts:
1. This is all about “getting out” and not about a lasting peace. After 18 years, 2,400 KIA, and 21,000 WIA, America is tired and wants out.
Candidate Trump promised to get us out; he did not promise to defeat the Taliban. He did not promise to save Afghanistan.
2. This agreement is not a “treaty” in that it will not be submitted to the US Senate for confirmation. This is an idiotic agreement to which the central Afghan government was not a part.
There is ample precedent for that — the South Vietnamese government was not a party to the Paris Peace talks that ended the Vietnam War for the US. Two years later, the NVA overran Saigon.
3. The Taliban holds half of the country right now. They are going to take the second half after a “decent interval.” A decent interval is two years. Take this to the bank.
4. I blame the American Generals for the defeat because they had numerical superiority, control of the skies, better weapons, air power, incredible technology, superior intel, broad communications, and the ability to interdict the annual winter pilgrimage by the Taliban to/from Pakistan.
The Taliban was a rag tag, light infantry outfit that we allowed to winter over in Pakistan.
If I were President, I would revoke all of the Generals’ Army War College degrees and cut their pensions. All they were asked to do was to win. They lost.
5. President George W Bush started the war and handed it off to President Obama. Do you think he ever did any research as to why Afghanistan was called The Graveyard of Empires?
In 8 years of conflict during the Obama admin, the administration did nothing except to feed the war and hand off a hot ember to the Trump admin.
Candidate Trump promised he would get us out.
President Trump is getting us out.
6. Afghanistan was a narco state when we arrived 18 years ago. While there, we did nothing to stop them from being a narco state.
When we leave, A’stan will still be a narco state. How could we have ignored this?
Peace with honor? Not so much, dear readers.
This is a perfect example of what the US should not do — go to war in far away places while incurring incredible expenses with no clear strategy to win, and without being able to “hot pursue” the enemy into their Pakistani safe haven.
Am I glad we’re getting out? Hell, yes!