As some of you may have heard, the U.S. is getting closer to a peace deal in Afghanistan. The news has been mostly buried by the presidential race and the fears of the Coronavirus, but President Trump first announced a potential treaty with the Taliban roughly a week ago.
It was pretty big news because it would end our war in Afghanistan, after nearly two decades of war.
But today, that entire process hit a pretty big snag because the Taliban launched 43 attacks on checkpoints across Helmand yesterday. That, in turn, prompted America to launch its first airstrike since announcing the agreement. (See article about all this here.)
All of this has caused mixed feelings for me, and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. And also see how you guys are feeling about it.
Clearly, the Taliban see weakness, and they’re not holding back. Why else launch 43 attacks after getting some pretty good terms from us.
And obviously, we essentially have no leverage. We want out. The Taliban knows we want out.
No one can negotiate when one side isn’t as passionate as the other about holding strong to their position.
As James LaPorta, a prior Marine and journalist who covers the military said, America is willing to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners as a part of this peace deal. And yet, it’s still not enough. The Taliban is still pushing.
Lest we forget, less than eight years ago, releasing even five prisoners was enough to cause nation-wide outrage. Now, we’re ready to release 5,000, and I’ve barely heard any criticism.
All of this brings up a couple of major points. First, we all know that if Obama were doing this, the screaming from those on the right would be deafening. (Or maybe not after twenty years.)
But the fact is that Trump has the base on his side and could probably negotiate anything with the Taliban and not face much criticism. Folks just want out. And maybe Trump, or at least a Republican, is the perfect person to negotiate our exit. (I’m not saying I’m a Trump supporter; I’m not saying I’m a Trump enemy. Just saying he might be the perfect person to negotiate this since he’s had a more isolationist-type stance on foreign policy, which is pretty rare in the Republican Party.)
The second major point is the country is tired. Very tired. (At least of this war; probably Iraq/Syria, too. And a true victory seems as far away now as 10+ years ago.
It might not happen immediately, but in the grand scheme of things, this war is over. That’s clear.
We’re done, and the Taliban isn’t.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
Personally, I would have preferred to maintain a base for special ops guys to launch attacks from, but probably this will happen from Afghan bases from time-to-time anyway, and we’ll never even hear about it unless it goes dreadfully wrong.
At any rate, those are my thoughts on the matter. What say you guys? Are you ready for it to be over, no matter the terms of the peace deal? Or do you think we hang in there longer, until the country is more stable? (Let’s have a civil, non-political discussion in the comments, if you’re game. Please limit attacks to the other side. Over-the-top comments will be deleted.)
So, fire away below. I’d love to hear your all’s thoughts.
Stan R. Mitchell
About me: I write fast-paced books, with no fat. Ten books penned. 70,000+ sold. I’m trying to be the next Vince Flynn. (He has no peers.) I also try to only write about positive things on my blog, so please consider subscribing (see upper right corner, where it says, “FOLLOW SITE VIA EMAIL.” Or, you can sign up for my new release mailing list. And obviously, if you’re looking for a quick, fun read, then please check out my books. #MitchRapp #USMC