By Daniel DePetris
The United States is closer than ever before to withdrawing from Afghanistan and putting this 18-year, $841 billion misadventure behind us.
The framework of a potential deal has been well-known for quite some time: In exchange for the removal of American and other foreign troops, the Taliban would ensure Afghanistan doesn’t represent a terrorist threat to the American people. Taliban leaders would also sit down with other Afghan stakeholders for comprehensive talks on the political future of the country and agree to a cease-fire (or at least a significant reduction in violence). The details have been the subject of intensive negotiations for weeks.
We don’t know whether negotiations can reach the finish line. What we do know, however, is that many high-profile foreign policy hawks in Washington, D.C. are adamantly opposed to U.S. withdrawal regardless of the circumstances. And all this obstinacy revolves around the same flawed argument: If American forces leave, the Taliban will inevitably break whatever deal it signed and welcome al Qaeda just as it did before 9/11.
This piece was originally published by The Washington Examiner on August 15, 2019. Read more HERE.