By Daniel R. DePetris
Zalmay Khalilzad, the Trump administration’s chief negotiator with the Taliban, has endured a lot of pressure in the last week. Former U.S. ambassadors, Fox News pundits, and think tank analysts alike have denounced his draft agreement in full without knowing what is in the final document.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s advisers have already expressed that the terms of the accord “need serious debate and revision.” Words such as “surrender,” “defeat,” and “abandonment” are being tossed in the air as if the United States has an obligation to serve as the Afghan government’s defenders in perpetuity.
Khalilzad and his boss, President Trump, will feel even more heat as additional details become available to the public. Trump’s cancellation on September 7 of a direct meeting between himself, the Taliban, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is a blinking red light that the president is increasingly experiencing second-thoughts about the entire process. So it is as good a time as any to reexamine the usual myths that will resurface in editorials and television segments over the ensuing weeks as opponents try to tank any agreement that could conclude U.S. involvement in this 18-year war.
This piece was originally published by The Federalist on September 9, 2019. Read more HERE.