The US/Taliban peace talks have been a grim charade. No one in the foreign policy establishment will acknowledge the fact, but the Taliban are strict, Sharia-observant Muslims, and the Sharia guidelines for treaty-making with Infidels are based on Muhammad’s Treaty of Hudaybiyya. Muslims can only enter into such a treaty when they are weak and need time to gather their strength (or, more remotely, if they think the enemy is about to convert to Islam). Then they can break it when it is no longer needed. The Taliban will not honor whatever treaty is made.
However, if it enables Trump to get US troops out of Afghanistan, then it will have at least one good result. Yes, the Taliban will gain when the troops are gone. That would be true no matter when we left. What we need is a better strategy, one that contains jihad activity within Afghanistan and doesn’t allow them to target Americans again. We don’t need American troops there until the end of time.
“U.S., Taliban to Sign Landmark Peace Deal to End War in Afghanistan,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, February 29, 2020:
The Trump administration is poised to sign a landmark peace accord Saturday morning with the Taliban terrorist organization more than 18 years after the United States first entered Afghanistan following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.
In a move that U.S. officials say could end the nation’s longest war in history, the Trump administration announced it has reached a truce that will massively scale down the American military presence with the expectation of an eventual full withdrawal….
Rumors of the long-percolating deal have been circulating in Washington, D.C., for weeks, prompting a group of Republican members of Congress to petition the Trump administration against going through with the agreement. They and other critics say the Taliban cannot be trusted to implement peace and that the moment U.S. forces vacate the country, terror forces will again rise to power.
The Trump administration had declared peace talks with the Taliban dead in September after abruptly canceling a meeting at Camp David between the United States and the Taliban. However, channels between the two sides remained open, leading to Saturday’s announcement.
The Trump administration is now committed to giving the deal a shot. The United States intends to scale down its troop presence from some 14,000 troops to around 8,600 by the end of the year—a number administration officials insist is enough to do the job of keeping the fragile peace deal alive….
“There’s been broad support for what we’re trying to do,” according to the senior administration official, who briefed reporters on background. “Everybody has the same goals. No one wants to see the return of the Islamic Emirate.”
Officials further acknowledged that there is no military path to victory in Afghanistan.
“The 30,000-foot conclusion by all parties is that a military solution is not possible without endless amounts of resources,” the official said. “Everybody decided the best way forward was a political settlement, rather than a military solution. The Taliban has not been defeated. They represent a portion of Afghan society” that must be included in discussions.
U.S. officials also pushed back against criticism that the signing ceremonies represent a photo opportunity and little more.
“This is not just optics in any way,” the official said. “This is historic. We have worked out a deal with them where they make commitments to us on counterterror that matter to us.”
This includes cracking down on the remnants of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and giving up the near-constant barrage of terror attacks.
“We made commitments to them. If they fulfill their commitments, we’re prepared to proceed with pulling out our troops. We never wanted a permanent” presence in Afghanistan, the official said. “It’s just the beginning. It’s a whole new stage of challenges we’re launching here.”
However, Afghanistan “is not going to become Switzerland overnight,” the official conceded.
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