The Afghanistan war has lasted almost 18 years now, and President Donald Trump remains focused on ending it and bringing U.S. troops home. Negotiators are reportedly closing in on a deal that will set a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops, and peace talks between Afghan and Taliban have led to a peace agreement “in principle” that will ostensibly create a path forward for the South-Central Asian country.
Per Newsweek, not everyone is impressed with Trump’s non-interventionist leaning, including Fox News analyst Brit Hume, who believes that the peace agreement with the Taliban is equivalent to “losing.”
“This is called losing,” Hume said on Fox News Sunday during an interview with Chris Wallace.
“We completely — ultimately abandoned that situation over there, partly because it’s unpopular, partly because people are frustrated with it, partly because it’s been going on so long,” he added, claiming that the U.S. military and public will not likely be happy with the results.
As of now, CNN reports that Trump must still approve the agreement between U.S. and Taliban. If it proceeds, it reportedly means the U.S. will remove troops from five bases across Afghanistan within 135 days. Of course, this is conditional on Taliban holding up their end of the agreement, which includes counter-terrorism assurances and a comprehensive ceasefire. If the agreement proceeds, it could end the 18-year war — American’s longest yet — that has siphoned up billions of dollars of taxpayer money.
Donald Trump's Afghanistan peace process "is called losing," Fox News analyst says https://t.co/1lKtmwyTqI— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 3, 2019
Although the move is seen as positive by many, others are skeptical that it will proceed with the intended results. Al Jazeera reports that Afghanistan civilians are skeptical of the deal and highlight the exclusion of specific parties — the Afghan government, women representatives, and minority groups — from the peace negotiations. These exclusions were reportedly the result of Taliban request, according to the Al Jazeera report.
“Some of these civil activists have argued that agreeing to the demands of the armed group would legitimise its position and embolden it to use the lives of Afghan civilians as leverage in the talks, but these voices have been excluded from the peace talks and silenced by the many threats the Taliban has made against anyone who dares to speak against them.”
According to Ryan Crocker, a U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011 to 2012, the U.S. has a duty to protect its allies before it leaves Afghanistan. Per The Washington Post, he highlights that withdrawing U.S. troops means that some Afghan partners that are waiting for visa processing would lose not just lose their jobs but their right to live in a safe, protected U.S. base. He said that the Taliban could not be trusted with such Afghan interpreters, whom he claims they have “targeted as traitors.”