Foreign Policy

The Afghanistan Deal Is Already Falling Apart

We should reduce the number of troops anyway.

|

The U.S. just signed a peace deal with the Taliban that would see U.S. forces exit Afghanistan in 14 months. Yet less than 24 hours after the peace deal was signed, it's already unraveling after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the timeline agreed to by America and the Taliban to exchange nearly 5,000 Taliban prisoners for around 1,000 Afghan government captives.

To be blunt, the details of this deal are a distraction. For America, a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is more urgent than the success or failure of a deal between the Taliban and Kabul.

Just observe how many hawks in Washington are already calling for President Donald Trump to rethink his plans to withdraw from Afghanistan. "We got a chance to end this Afghanistan War smartly and well but we're gonna need a residual U.S. force, a counterterrorism presence for years to come because I don't trust the Taliban to police Al Qaeda and ISIS," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), while championing never-ending U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Likewise, Susan Rice and John Bolton have both come out swinging against the deal—these arch-hawks may quibble over the details, but they agree on maintaining a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.‬

For close to two decades, America's interests have demanded a military withdrawal from Afghanistan, peace deal or not. If this is a question of what the U.S. is getting in return for the nearly $2 trillion spent on the war, and around 2,500 American lives lost directly due to combat, the answer is completely depressing—after being in Afghanistan for 18 years, there's no end in sight to the conflict. Over the last 10 years, the situation on the ground has looked more and more like a stalemate that grinds on. Meanwhile the Taliban still controls the exact same amount of territory.

Even from a humanitarian angle, it is in America's interest to leave. Not all who America is helping in the fight against the Taliban are "good guys." There's a host of human rights abuses committed by Afghan warlords and security forces, including the bacha bazi abuse of young boys. Meanwhile, corruption is rife in Kabul.

America would be foolish to tie withdrawal to the success of a deal between Kabul and the Taliban. Neither side has American interests in mind and our allies in Kabul have an incentive to scuttle a deal if that means America continues to provide a security blanket to Afghan forces.

But what of Graham's contention, repeated elsewhere by establishment types, that America's chief mission in Afghanistan is keeping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group out?

First off, notice how the mission evolved from beating the Taliban and engaging in nation-building in Afghanistan to now keeping Al Qaeda and IS out. But we aren't doing a good job at even that: Al Qaeda still operates on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Sure, the Taliban continues to have a relationship with Al Qaeda, but America's presence in Afghanistan isn't changing that. Regrettably, our military presence may even be giving the Taliban and terror groups like Al Qaeda more reasons to work together.

Next, it isn't true that we need troops in Afghanistan to conduct anti-terrorism operations. Defense Secretary Mark Esper already stated that the U.S. "will not hesitate" to strike terrorist threats in Afghanistan if the Taliban falters in its promise to prevent Sunni terror groups from using Afghanistan as a base. If a legitimate terror threat to the U.S. arises in Afghanistan, there are tools at our disposal—whether by strike or by raid, America's reach is long and does not rely on a permanent ground presence in Afghanistan.

Peace deals can always fall apart. Instead of focusing on the details of the accord, policymakers should be thinking about America's interests—and how badly we've strayed from them. Whether the deal holds or not, this statement remains true: It's in America's best interest to withdraw from Afghanistan as soon as possible.

NEXT: Mikhail Mishustin Is an Unexpected Putin Pick for Prime Minister

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Who is this Krumholz fellow and can we vote him into ENB’s job?

    1. I think he is aiming for Robby’s job of Handsome Fellow At-Large.

    2. Amen brother.

    3. No shit.

      It’s rare these days, but every once in a while someone who sounds like an actual honest-to-goodness libertarian somehow slips through the cracks and gets published here.

      What usually ends up happening is they’re never heard from again after that first appearance, and I suspect that’s exactly what will happen with this guy.

      1. I read the headline and thought “oh god, Reason is finally going to cover the Afghanistan deal and it’s all going to be about how Trump fucked up.” This was a surprisingly good read even if I would have liked to hear more about the deal itself

      2. Remember that poor intern who wrote an article on how bad the Trans-Pacific Partnership was? He wrote his own death warrant.

  2. I agree with the author. Deal or no deal, get our troops out. If we are afraid of getting stabbed in the back by a resurgent AQ in the country (which I doubt, AQ no longer exists as it had in 2001), then we could virtually park a fleet of drones over the skies of that country and rain death on jihadis whenever we chose. And it would still be cheaper in blood and treasure than our current strategy, for both us and the people of Afghanistan. They don’t want democracy. They don’t trust the government in Kabul. If they can’t muster enough men and will to fight the taliban on their own, then they don’t deserve to live in a country free from taliban.

    1. On this, we can agree

    2. “…If they can’t muster enough men and will to fight the taliban on their own, then they don’t deserve to live in a country free from taliban.”

      The pop-up vid in the lower right is already showing teary-eyed kids with copy claiming the Afghans are ‘frightened of the Taliban’.
      To which I say: Tough shit. It’s your country; if you can’t civilize the place, you get what you deserve.

      1. We should just bring them all here. I mean sure, they don’t believe that women have rights, and that they can use violence against non-Muslims, but they believe that a little less extremely than the Taliban, so I’m sure they’ll assimilate just fine.

        Probably vote Libertarian too!

        1. In all seriousness, we should bring (slightly) more of them here. Letting our interpreters be murdered while waiting 10 years for their visa isn’t a good look.

          I’ve made statements for 2 interpreters from Afghanistan and 2 from Iraq. The ones from Iraq got into the US fairly quickly, within 4 years or so of starting the visa process. The afghan interpreters, however, had to wait 8 years in one case, and 9 years in another.

          One had been hiding in a relative’s apartment in Kabul for years before stepping out to flee, the other had tried multiple times to escape, getting caught in Greece and deported in his last attempt. Both would have almost certainly have been killed for their service to America.

            1. That article is almost 100% misinformation. I would have an easier time listing what was true in it than what was false. I can tell you from personal experience and the experience of many, many other veterans trying to save their interpreters, that article does not reflect reality.

              Standard zero hedge conspiratarian xenophobic nonsense, complete with the scare tactic of going into inordinate detail about the crimes of one supposed interpreter.

              1. Then you should have no problem listing at least a few concrete examples of falsehoods with cites then, right?

                1. No, I’m not writing a research paper for you. You can choose to believe what one poster writes on website that caters to racist conspiratarians, if that’s the way you wanna go.

                  I’ll do one so easy and so self evidently wrong that I don’t need a cite:

                  “That’s a lot of interpreters considering that there were only 5,200 American troops in Iraq.”

                  That is a blatantly dishonest way to frame the debate. Perhaps at the time of writing the article there were only that many troops in Iraq, but the interpreters who are applying for visas are not only the interpreters currently working for the US, and the visas also include the working interpreters family members.

                  I have personally hired and negotiated with Interpreters. No one promises them a visa –which is another lie the article presents as fact.

                  I don’t see any cites from the author of that piece of shit. What can be asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. I also do not feel compelled to go searching for reliable sources, (which you will dismiss as being MSM, and therefor part of the (((deep state))) conspiracy), when my own experience and the experience of hundreds of thousands of veterans is contrary to everything in that article.

                  Seriously, just go ask a few combat vets whether or not ‘terps get easy visas.

                  1. Zero Hedge is nothing to Russian propaganda these days.

                  2. That’s a lot of words for just 2 examples with no cites

                    But those 2 example do sound legit.

                    1. What can I say? It’s a topic close to my heart.
                      #triggered

            2. Try ‘businessinsider’ for even more bullshit.

      2. I’m sure they are frightened of the Taliban. Afghanistan is multi ethnic and tribal, and many Afghans who aren’t Pashtuns are 100% against the Taliban. The problem is that they are extremely poor, fatalistic in their thinking (islam), highly illiterate, and the Afghan government has big time learned helplessness from letting America solve all their problems constantly. Those problems, and the fact that Pashtun culture is all about holding grudges forever until they are satisfied, means that Afghanistan can either be broken into smaller, poorer countries, or can go on as a Pashtun-dominated islamo-state.

    3. I can agree to a point with you. I like that we have a deal with the Taliban that may help protect our troops as we disengage. If they start attacking us as we leave, it would probably result in more casualties then staying in place. As for the Afghanistan government, fuck then. They don’t want to stand up to the Taliban and depend on the US (and NATO to a lesser degree) to fight them. Fuck them, we spent two decades, 1000s of lives, trillions of dollars equipping them and training them. They’re inability to take advantage of our service members sacrifice is not our problem. We are done giving.

      1. I’m fine with the deal, because it is a step forward. But I don’t require or expect the Taliban to keep their end. I think they are barely in control of their forces, and there are enough free-wheeling warlords out there to make enough background violence that you can’t tell whether or not it is taliban behind it.

        1. Which is true, but it would be even worse without a deal. Imagine trying to draw down troops while the Taliban launches an all out offensive.

        2. “I think they are barely in control of their forces”

          Exactly. There’s no deal that can be made that will be respected by everyone in Afghanistan. There will be attacks on our troops. It’s just a matter of how fast we can get out, with the fewest casualties along the way.

          Which is one of the reasons having Dems and the media politicizing this from their ivory towers of ignorance is more disgusting than normal.

    4. Afghanistan needs durable printers, ink, paper, and access to internet. The Taliban and most people living in Afghanistan don’t yet know that living in a tyranny like an emirate is not preferable to having voluntarily elected leadership. There should be diversity of information, opinion, and thought.

  3. Listen, Willy, nobody ever made money by ending wars.

    1. Poppy farmers might.

      1. Have you ever had a poppy strudel? They are fantastic.

  4. Oh oh, the Trumpistas got what they wished for (an article on the Afghan peace treaty) and now they’re gonna complain it showed up.

    1. The above article is TOTALLY full of crap, and disrespects The Donald!

      The TRUTH is that It Had Come To Pass, That It Pleased The Donald, and He Dideth Snappeth His Fingers, and Truly Hath Instantaneously Instituted Everlasting Peace (between ALL parties!) in Afghanistanistanistanistanistan !!!! Hurrr Gurrrrrr!!!!

      But ALSO, American Honor somehow STILL requires that SOME mere thousands of American boots remain on the ground over there!!! Trust, but verify!

      1. Vince, you have shit in your teeth.

    2. I don’t see how it’s anti-Trump at all, honestly. There’s really no indication from the US that we are changing course in Afghanistan, even if the Taliban and Kabhul can’t reach their own agreement.

      If anything it’s an indictment of Graham, Bolton, and Rice. Whom I think many of our resident conservatives correctly despise as the Neo-Cons that they are.

      1. Yeah, my glance through this article, seems to show a pretty fair assessment. I’ll have to read it in depth when I’m not at work.

      2. I should probably clarify that by “changing course” I meant the new course of withdrawal over the next 14 months. Not the course of the previous 18+ years.

        When we see that we are no longer on the path to withdrawal, then it’s time for criticism.

    3. Oh oh, the Trumpistas got what they wished for (an article on the Afghan peace treaty) and now they’re gonna complain it showed up.

      In before the Trumpistas baselessly lambasting the article, per your prediction, show up!

    4. Actually, I would say finally, and overall a pretty well balanced and principled article. But nice ad hominem.

    5. Let me guess. You’re hoping the deal falls apart because orange man bad. Ww3 was too disappointing for you. C’mon coronavirus, take trump out.

      What a shitty take from you. But expected.

    6. It’s not like we all didn’t know it was going to be the DNC talking points memo.

  5. The Afghanistan Deal Is Already Falling Apart

    It’s not falling apart. It’s working as designed.

    The USA got the Taliban to agree to the terms, so the USA can withdraw under “honorable” conditions within 14 months.

    We all know that the puppet regime of Kabul will fall just like it fell after the Russians left. Just like Saigon and South Vietnam would fall.

    Neocons want endless war to make sure that any politician cannot pull troops out because it would look bad.

    Like Trump pulled out of Stormy Daniels, Trump is pulling America out of Afghanistan hard and fast.

    1. You’ve got a brilliant future in the Ministry of Disinformation.

    2. 14 months fast. Great resume!

      1. “within” being the key word.

        1. 14 months of government time is roughly equal to what, 4 years of real time?

        2. Whoa there kid, you actually responded to my comment instead of the parent. TDS must be really acting up. My condolences. I won’t let it go to my head.

    3. The White House announced right after Kabul’s announcement that we will begin drawing down forces within 10 days and that the Pentagon has already been ordered to begin planning, as have all the on ground commanders. The initial withdrawal will reduce troop strength to 8600 over the next 4 months and Trump plans on keeping this commitment as a sign of good faith to the Taliban. Further troop withdrawals will come after the initial withdrawal. Sad to say, but disengaging is often a far longer process then invading initially. Much of our equipment will have to be destroyed in place (a very time consuming process). Withdrawal time tables will have to be carefully coordinated to insure proper security is allowed for. I am certain there will also be some delay as we turn over some COP and patrol areas to Afghani forces (choked a little laughing at this joke).

  6. >>but we’re gonna need a residual U.S. force, a counterterrorism presence for years to come because …

    that’s who pays me the big bucks.”

    said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.)

  7. It’s a little early to say that the deal is “unraveling.” We should let this one play out. It’s not like we’re dealing with amicable sides here. Both are posturing, but indicated that they want to end hostilities long-term by signing the deal just a few days ago. Surely their minds haven’t already changed.

    Also, Lindsey Graham is dangerous. If he wants a force on the ground to combat terrorism, I nominate sending him, Bolton, Susan Rice, and whoever else is making a case for ground troops.

    1. I would pay to see graham eating dust in a turret on an Afghan road.

      1. The author is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous, in this day of modern surveillance and warfare, to think that ground troops make one iota of difference in our ability to respond to terror threats.

        Graham is simply disingenuous and is carrying on the long McCain-ian tradition of there not being a war that he doesn’t like.

        1. Someone’s gotta stand up for the little guy, aka Raytheon and Lockheed.

          1. I would say the civilian contractors who have largely replaced the combat support and combat service support troops are going to be the hardest hit. Most of our equipment will be destroyed in place, so the manufacturers will still make a dime on replacing this equipment.

  8. Where’s that jackass that was crapping up all the comment sections yesterday?

    1. You’re going to have to be much, much, much, much more specific.

      1. The jackass that was complaining about the “Reason News Blackout” on the treaty. On every comment section.

        1. Haha, looking through yesterday’s threads, I see Tulpa and Sevo had themselves quite a poetomachia.

          1. It’s funny how you turn a small interaction in one thread into something it wasn’t.

            What’s the point of that if I may ask? It’s like you are personally invested in it, with your inane embellishments.

            1. Oh right, you’re “bignose” I forgot about that.

              1. Yep, that’s the only explanation. There’s no way that multiple people find your obsessive shitposting annoying and embarrassing.

                Out of curiosity, how many real-life individual human beings do you think actually post here? 4? 5?

                1. 2, every user is either a John or Tony sock

                  1. That would make a great noir movie.

                2. i’m way too lazy to be 2 mes

      2. Was it someone other than insane Tulpa or Hihn? Those two are the main pigeons around here.

        1. Them and their 30 sock accounts.

          1. You could always stop bitching and leave.

        2. Wow you name checked me twice in the same thread. Rent free living at it’s finest.

          1. Eunuch is just trying to be part of a crowd
            Any crowd

            1. Well it is his move, he was the omega dog for so long that when his boos left he was left unmoored. It’s why you see him randomly responding to posts with dad humor.

            2. On balance, I have to say that that is a more respectable and worthwhile pursuit than trying to be the biggest asshole you can be.

              1. There is nothing respectable about eunuch, regardless of anybody else

                1. He doesn’t spam every thread every day with the same tired insults. I like that.

    2. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Rent free

      And it only took your butt buddies a full week to get the DNC talking points

  9. Look, we say we won, and then we leave.
    It worked for Vietnam, it will work here.

    1. Since our “Declaration of War” had no end date or end goal, I guess we can say we won. Minus 2,354 American heroes that died in that combat zone.

    2. “Look, we say we won, and then we leave.
      It worked for Vietnam, it will work here.”

      Hot Damn! I nominate THIS for Grand-Champ comment of the day!!!!

      1. You have shit in your teeth Vince.

  10. “Meanwhile the Taliban still controls the exact same amount of territory.“

    Clearly, not from when this conflict started. Say what you will, but the Taliban is no longer in power in Afghanistan. A more democratic, freedom-respecting Afghani Government controls around 63% of the country and represents around 48% of the country. The brutal, barbaric Taliban instead of controlling 100% of the country and 100% of the people now control around 11% of the country and around 9% of the people.

    Individuals may oppose war or intervention categorically, but no matter how you cut that, that’s significant progress from before this war started.

    Folks are welcome to object to any future war or intervention as they please.

    But there’s no way to spin away the significant improvement in governance in Afghanistan from this war and significantly more freedom and democracy Afghanis experience, today, because of it.

    Each of us may have whatever opinions we like about war, intervention, and the use of military force as we like.

    But those are the facts, when you’re looking objectively at that situation and not just to confirm ones biases about ideology and intervention.❤️

    “The most recent American military assessment, released in January for the three-month quarter ending in October, showed that the government in Afghanistan controlled territory containing 63.5 percent of the country’s population. That represented a 1.7 percent decrease from the previous quarter.

    The report said gains by the Taliban had given the insurgents control over territory that was home to 10.8 percent of the population. The remaining population areas were considered contested.

    The Pentagon said at the time that the assessment was ‘not indicative of effectiveness’ of American military strategy, citing ‘uncertainty’ and ‘subjectivity’ in the data. Mr. Sopko said that had been the first time the military had criticized its own metric.

    United States Marines walking to guard stations at a military camp in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2017.

    United States Marines walking to guard stations at a military camp in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2017.

    An analysis co-authored by Mr. Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, published in the Long War Journal, found that territory controlled by the Afghan government covered 48 percent of the population and that held by the Taliban 9 percent, with the rest contested.

    The inspector general’s report said Afghan defense force casualties rose by 31 percent from December through February compared with the same period a year ago. Insurgent attacks increased by 19 percent from November through January compared with the quarter ending in October, the report said.”

    1. ????

      1. Darn it, didn’t work. How did you get that heart emoji to work?

          1. I ♥ There we go!

            1. 😒
              😒

              1. Stop shit posting, thanks.

            2. Your heart is cold, dark, and small. A true libertarian!

        1. Copy-n-paste? (❤️)

          1. You have shit in your teeth SQRLSY

  11. Ghani’s not really in a position to tell us what to do, regardless of what he thinks (he’s got enough to worry about with Abdullah backbiting him to be complaining about a prisoner exchange, to be honest), but the real key is whether the administration follows through on withdrawals or not. It makes a lot more sense in an election year to do a large withdrawal before the summer, leave a token force in the interim for “security purposes” to placate the Afghan government, and then pull the remainder out after Election Day.

  12. “…because I don’t trust the Taliban to police Al Qaeda and ISIS…”

    When Graham volunteers for service there, his opinion might be worth something.
    As of now, it is NWS.

  13. The Taliban might not keep their word? Well at least the North Koreans and China can be counted on.

    Pack up, spike the cannons if you can’t take them, and go. Watch your rear on the way out.

  14. As soon as we slotted Bin Laden we should have packed up and left with the warning that if they decided to fuck with us again we would turn their world unto glass…

  15. The U.S. just signed a peace deal with the Taliban that would see U.S. forces exit Afghanistan in 14 months. Yet less than 24 hours after the peace deal was signed, it’s already unraveling after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the timeline agreed to by America and the Taliban to exchange nearly 5,000 Taliban prisoners for around 1,000 Afghan government captives.

    What’s the Afghan President got to do with our peace deal with the Taliban? If he doesn’t want to agree to our terms, he’s perfectly free to work out whatever terms he’d like with the Taliban. Either way, we’re no longer interested in being used as leverage in his deal making plans. Afghanistan is not our problem.

    1. “You broke it you bought it” is only a valid argument if the item in question wasn’t broken 3000 years before the customer showed up.

      1. The Pottery Barn Rule isn’t an argument. It’s an empirical observation.

        France still feels compelled to reinvade the Ivory Coast on occasion for the same reason.

        You think you’re getting out, but they keep sucking you back in.

        1. I dunno about that. Britain managed to leave Afgha…never mind.

    2. “What’s the Afghan President got to do with our peace deal with the Taliban? If he doesn’t want to agree to our terms, he’s perfectly free to work out whatever terms he’d like with the Taliban.”

      So you’re coming around to seeing Trump’s side of things, then?

      Because under both Bush Jr. and Obama, we couldn’t leave Afghanistan until the Taliban surrendered to U.S. backed Afghan government–which was preposterous. Now, yes, the only thing we’re giving the Afghan government is 14 months to agree with the Taliban on the terms of the Afghan government’s surrender.

      It’s a lot like when we left Vietnam.

  16. “The U.S. just signed a peace deal with the Taliban that would see U.S. forces exit Afghanistan in 14 months. Yet less than 24 hours after the peace deal was signed, it’s already unraveling after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the timeline agreed to by America and the Taliban to exchange nearly 5,000 Taliban prisoners for around 1,000 Afghan government captives.

    To be blunt, the details of this deal are a distraction. For America, a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is more urgent than the success or failure of a deal between the Taliban and Kabul.”

    This gets it exactly right.

    Because President Trump cut a deal with the Taliban, we are no longer held hostage by the Afghan government’s unwillingness to negotiate their surrender.

    It’s as harsh an assessment as it is true.

    The fact is that neither Bush the Lesser nor Obama had the balls to cut a deal with the Taliban like this for a number of reasons.

    1) Neoconservative ideology wouldn’t let them negotiate with evil terrorists–not even if doing so was in the best interests of the United States.

    2) Sunk costs fallacies have it that if the land where our heroes died wasn’t made democratic and freedom loving by their sacrifices, then their sacrifices were made in vain–and there’s nothing worse (in this line of thinking) than throwing away our heroes lives for nothing.

    3) Democracy and freedom take hold and blossom everywhere they’re planted, according to neocons, and if that hadn’t happened in Afghanistan yet, it was only because we weren’t trying hard enough or for as long as we should.

    Trump’s patriotism, pragmatism, and his emphasis on national interest were the cure for all that neocon insanity–and, yeah, patriotism was an essential ingredient. The reason we’re leaving Afghanistan is because we put the interests of the American people first, over the interests of the people of Afghanistan, and it isn’t in the best interests of the American people to be there anymore. The reason President Trump can sell his America first stance is because of his patriotism. Any Democrat or Republican who wants to put the interests of the Afghans ahead of the U.S. should go run for office in Afghanistan.

  17. Trump has the clear constitutional right to exit a war. But despite all he has claimed he has power to do, this is the one thing he won’t do. He talks a good talk, but he won’t follow through. No matter how fast he fires the warmongers they still seem like the only people he listens to.

    We’ll get out of Afghanistan under the next president, whoever that will be.

    1. Getting out of forever wars was a big priority for Trump before he became president–going back before Steve Bannon’s influence.

      He pulls our troops out of harm’s war in Syria–over the howls of protest from the warmongers–and still you think he’s a warmonger?

      John McCain, Hillary Clinton and our intelligence services go full Never Trump–because he promised as a candidate to work with Putin to destroy ISIS in Syria rather than invade. Trump then does exactly what he said–in order to avoid an American invasion of Syria, and you still you call him a warmonger?

      The political risk for Trump is 1) negotiating with the Taliban at all, and 2) seeing this agreement blow up by the Taliban returning to terrorism ahead of Trump being reelected in November. Neither Bush nor Obama would have taken such a risk–but Trump is, and the only explanation is that he’s being true to his stated foreign policy since before he was elected . . .

      He’s putting America first.

      It was in the bests interests of the United States to make a deal with Putin to call of his, Assad’s, and Iran’s allies from fighting America’s allies in Syria–and concentrating their focus on fighting ISIS rather than each other. So that’s what Trump did.

      It was not in the best interests for the United States to fight against the Turks or against Assad in Syria with American troops–so Trump withdrew them out of harm’s way.

      It is in the best interests of the United States to come to terms with the Taliban and withdraw from Afghanistan–so that is what Trump is doing. He’s simply putting America first, and when you do that, you find that warmongering is rarely in the best interests of the nation.

    2. I’m a little worried that the timing. 14 months puts this past the election. At that point does Trump even care anymore?

      I’m cautiously optimistic. What can’t be denied is that Trump has, up to this point, done more to try to get out of Afghanistan than Obama did. Although that’s certainly not a high bar.

      And whether you like his policies or not, he has delivered more on his campaign promises than any President in recent history. This was one of his campaign talking points, so I’m hopeful.

      1. So the risk of the Taliban embarrassing the hell out of him by going back to terrorism isn’t a political risk–he’s supposedly so worried by about people thinking he’s not really going to pull out of Afghanistan that he’ll enter into a deal with the Taliban just to wait until after the election to scrap it?!

        If the FDA approves a test for the TDS virus, you should definitely get yourself tested.

        1. I’m agreeing with what you’re saying, just not claiming victory until the troops are actually withdrawn. Maybe you missed that. That neo-con pull within his party and among Republican donors is pretty strong too. Like I said, we should be cautiously optimistic.

          1. not claiming victory until the troops are actually withdrawn.”

            Are you at least willing to criticize those who aren’t willing to support President Trump’s withdrawal plan?

            I’ll condemn anyone, Democrat or Republican, who opposes negotiating with the Taliban or who opposes following through on Trump’s plan to withdraw in 14 months.

            No one should be allowed to become president without going on the record as to whether they support Trump’s deal with the Taliban or whether they would refuse to withdraw troops on the basis of his deal 14 months from now.

            1. Are you at least willing to criticize those who aren’t willing to support President Trump’s withdrawal plan?

              I guess it depends on the criticism. If they’re criticizing the timing, 14 months is a long time, then I think they have a legitimate complaint.

              If they’re criticizing him for negotiating a deal with the Taliban, then they deserve criticism. What do people think an American exit from Afghanistan was supposed to look like? We’ve fought this one into a stalemate. This is what stalemates look like.

      2. I repeat. The risk to Trump is that the Taliban reneges and goes back on their promise not to use terrorism, like a suicide bomber, between now and November–killing American troops.

        That Trump has willingly accepted that risk in the interests of getting us out of Afghanistan is extraordinary.

        It’s fucking presidential is what it is.

        That’s what presidents are supposed to do when they care more about the United States than they do about getting reelected or it’s what presidents are supposed to do when they put their faith in the American people to use their good judgement rather than the shrieks of their partisan opponents.

        1. It’s cute that you think he’s putting America before his reelection campaign. Cutting a deal to exit Afghanistan is the popular political move here. He’s at more risk to have to explain why we’re still in Afghanistan after 18+ years when he ran on ending the war. Especially if the Dems nominate an anti-war candidate.

          Whatever his motives, I couldn’t care less. I’m glad that he’s put us on a path to withdraw.

          1. He’s taking a political risk in an election year that objective voters will give him more credit for cutting a deal with the Taliban than he’ll lose if the Taliban turns back to terrorism before November. Meanwhile, if you refuse to give him credit for cutting the deal that was necessary to justify pulling out, I have little doubt that you’ll condemn him for cutting that deal if the Taliban reneges. Would you rather condemn Trump for cutting a deal with the Taliban than give him credit for getting us out?

            1. I’ve given him credit for this one. It’s a good move. Certainly the best thing he’s done this year, and if he stays the course maybe in his whole presidency. I hope Trump’s legacy includes ending this war.

              If the Taliban reneges, we still should pull out of Afghanistan. Although I have my doubts that Trump would stay the course if they did renege, but hopefully he will. That doesn’t change my opinion on this deal and you can quote me on that when the time comes.

              What will be your response if Trump chooses to keep ground troops after 14 months if the deal falls apart? Predictably pro-Trump I’m sure.

  18. Trump, worst racist warmongering president ever!

    1. reduce troops in syria
    2. afghan withdrawal deal in place.
    3. looks like will not auto-renew PATRIOT act FISA provisions.
    4. Signed First Step act
    5. Pardoned several black victims of drug war over-sentencing

    Honestly, liberals should love him. it’s crazy bizarro world that he is so hated by them.

    1. Well, Orange Man Bad is like 300 points…..

    2. The media. They spin everything he says and does while stating everything he does is fascist and racist. That’s the only way I can explain it. The majority of the media exclusively covers him like this and people buy into the narrative because so many places say the same thing. The funny part is when you ask his haters to substantiate all of these negative characterizations. I offer as a given that he is a petulant child and an asshole. They’re terrible at reasoning any positive points in his actions and consistently apply unfounded racist rationales for them

  19. Getting out of Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq would be a good start, but we really need to get away from supporting the most evil regimes in the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    1. Israel?

      1. Misek sock?

    2. I don’t have much of a problem with Israel. We re-created the state after WW2 and with some (maybe a lot) of help they have become the most advanced civilization in the ME. They have been under constant attacks and threats from the surrounding Muslim nations. A large and vocal minority in the west has found it fashionable to hate Israel and love “Palestine.” Left out of that is how in spite of the bad things Israel does they are still much better by a wide margin in almost every way

      1. And it wasn’t like Palestine was it’s own country before Israel was formed. The Egyptians don’t want them and neither do the Lebanese really. Jordan seems quite content with them no longer being part of their country as well. Syria is happy to arm and train them as long as they attack Israel but they also don’t seem to want them as citizens in any large number.

        1. The Palestinians are treated better by their sworn enemy, Israel, than neighboring nations who share Islamic faith and Arab traditions. Why is that, one might ask

        2. Palestinians call Jews living in the W Bank pre 1967 borders “settlers”. The crux of the matter is the state they envision is to be entirely Jew-free.

          Why? Jews and Arabs live together in peace in Israel. Why not in a Palestinian state?

          In a true peace you would have two states side by side. Citizens would be free to work or live in either state. Netanyahu has proposed this in the past. It is the only thing that would work. Think of the economics, trade, transportation, water, power, all of that.

          The major block is the hatred of Jews from the other side. Hamas is a symptom. They don’t want peace. For them peace is defeat. The best you can get is what is there. A semi ceasefire.

  20. Israel has been stealing land from it’s neighbors for as long as it has existed and continues herding the Palestinians into the remaining land it hasn’t got around to stealing yet. Any Palestinian that dares to object is thrown in prison or just shot down on the spot. Anyone who opposes Israels apartheid strategy is denounced as an anti-semite.

  21. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Who called it?

    I can’t believe it took you a week to read the DNC talking points memo.

  22. AFGHANISTAN IMPLODING!!!!!!!!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.