Quantcast
Connect with us

Here’s what really went down with Trump’s Taliban peace talks misadventure

Published

on

Thanks for your support!
This article was paid for by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates.
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend 9/11 remembrance ceremonies where Trump says US war on Taliban intensifying. (AFP / Nicholas Kamm)

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

Dana Kennedy
Dana Kennedy

Donald Trump is not known for finessing foreign policy but for years prior to his election and during his campaign, he was mostly right about Afghanistan. He called it a “total disaster,” said it was “wasting our money” and that we should leave “immediately.”

It seemed that Trump understood the timeless – if sometimes historically inaccurate – tropes about Afghanistan being the “graveyard of empires” and home to “ungovernable” tribesmen who could outwit and humiliate the British, the Soviets – and us.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the very least, drastic action was needed to end America’s longest-running conflict (18 years,) one that a recent Brown University report said has cost the U.S. 2 trillion dollars.

But it turns out Trump is the true “ungovernable” and the U.S. is now in the ludicrous position of being scolded by disappointed Taliban negotiators and even the Russian envoy to Afghanistan for dropping the ball on already agreed-upon peace negotiations.

He wanted a photo op and a high-ratings TV show, and when it didn’t work out, he canceled it.

After tweeting details of his failed and embarrassing secret plan to bring the Taliban and Afghanistan’s president to Camp David for peace talks just before 9-11 and calling the deal “dead,” Trump did more than just shoot himself in the foot.

In pulling the plug after a year of painstaking negotiations led by Trump’s Afghan-American envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, Trump may have doomed ordinary Afghans to many more years of violence and bloodshed, not just at the hands of the Taliban – but more likely from Afghan security forces and their U.S.-led international allies.

ADVERTISEMENT

U.S., Allies Kill More Civilians than Taliban

According to a shocking United Nations report in July, Afghan and American forces have killed more civilians this year than the Taliban have. Afghan and U.S. military were responsible for 52% of the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians and the wounding of 2400 others – in contrast to 39% blamed on militants, including both the Taliban and ISIS.

The BBC reported Monday that an average of 74 men, women and children were killed every day in Afghanistan throughout the month of August. One out of every five of the dead were civilians.

“The conflict has a devastating impact on civilians,” Fiona Frazer, the human rights chief for the UN mission in Afghanistan told the BBC. “United Nations data strongly indicates that more civilians are killed or injured in Afghanistan due to armed conflict than anywhere else on Earth.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The agreement that had been hashed out between the Taliban and the U.S. had called for the withdrawal of about 5,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban. Trump bailed on the deal after the Taliban turned out to be responsible for a recent attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a U.S. soldier.

“Whatever just happened, it’s about Trump, not Afghanistan,” tweeted Barnett R. Rubin, former senior adviser to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He wanted a photo op and a high-ratings TV show, and when it didn’t work out, he canceled it.”

No one, apparently, was more taken aback by Trump’s decision to dump the peace talks than the Taliban themselves, according to the Afghanistan Times.

Still Want a Deal

The Taliban still want the deal and even visited Russia recently where they consulted with Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan who stressed the importance of the militants resuming talks with the U.S., the newspaper reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is a notable development, as it suggests the Taliban wants to underscore its continued interest in dialogue, even after President Trump pulled the plug on the US-Taliban talks,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center told the AP.

“And how striking that the insurgents have chosen to telegraph a message of conciliation by engaging with Moscow, a key U.S. rival that has made great efforts to deepen ties with the Taliban in recent months.”

After witnessing Trump’s Camp David debacle, the Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen sounded more like a pious schoolmarm than one of the leaders of a powerful group that controls more than half of Afghanistan and terrorizes it with impunity on a daily basis.

“The US president’s tweets took us by surprise,” Shaheen told Deutsche Welle. “We still don’t understand how the US can call off the deal that took months to negotiate and finalize. This move has undermined the US’ credibility.”

ADVERTISEMENT

 

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Pro-Trump conservatives ‘trading short-term political gain for long-term ruin’: columnist

Published

on

Writing in The Atlantic this Wednesday, Rachel Shelden contends that Republicans are finding themselves "boxed in" after enabling President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories about mass voter fraud in the 2020 election.

According to Shelden, the current situation Republicans face is similar to the aftermath of the 1860 election.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘NO WAY!’ Trump starts off Thanksgiving by whining about his election loss

Published

on

President Donald Trump started off Thanksgiving by whining about his election loss to Joe Biden.

Biden earned a record 80 million votes, with ballots still being counted, and the president reacted to that news Thursday by insisting his loss was impossible.

"Just saw the vote tabulations," Trump tweeted. "There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!! This was a 100% RIGGED ELECTION."

Twitter immediately slapped a disclaimer on his unfounded claims, which have been rejected over and over by courts and were disputed by the Homeland Security official who oversaw election security -- until the president fired him.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump will soon be a ‘dumpy 74-year-old wheeling around the golf course’ while awaiting ‘his next cheeseburger’: columnist

Published

on

Daily Beast columnist Margaret Carlson on Thursday published a brutal opinion piece in which she danced on President Donald Trump's political grave and relished the thought of his fading into irrelevancy.

In her column, Carlson acknowledged many liberals' fears that Trump will never leave the national spotlight, but she said the soon-to-be-ex-president is more likely to be treated more like a washed-up celebrity that a political icon.

"To those worried we will never rid ourselves of Trump, watch as he shrinks before our very eyes in a Washington minute from leader of the free world to a broken-down real estate developer up to his ears in debt," she wrote. "On Monday, Trump was just another dumpy 74-year-old man wheeling around the golf course in a motorized cart wondering how long it would be until his next cheeseburger."

Continue Reading