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Trump's deal with the Taliban confirms foreign policy doctrine is a betrayal


On February 29, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement to end violence in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested during a ceremony in Qatar, where the United States is based. 39; Taliban negotiating team. The Taliban have shown, if only for a week, that when they have the will to be peaceful, they can be, Pompeo declared.

Someone should have told the Taliban.

Let's put aside the fact that the violence in Afghanistan was not so depressed, as Pompeo claims. Just because attacks has not been claimed does not mean that they did not happen. As I pointed out in a study of the politicization of intelligence for the International Intelligence and Counterintelligence Journal, politicians politicize and distort intelligence more frequently in the search for diplomatic deals than to justify war.

Journalist Stephen Hayes strong points some flaws with the Taliban’s agreement, and I wrote here on its other flaws. The national endowment for democracies Khalid Majidyar points out Perhaps most importantly: the Taliban’s chief negotiator, Abbas Stanikzai, says the new agreement only prevents the Taliban and US forces from attacking each other, but that the Taliban can continue their fight against the elected Afghan government.

The Taliban agreement, which Pompeo is now trumpeting, actually follows the same model as the abandonment of the Syrian Kurds at the last fall. The United States will withdraw and leave its allies to their fate in the hands of aggressive, if not genocidal, regional forces.

The Taliban retain their Pakistani support. He remains committed to the violent overthrow of elected Afghan governance and the imposition of an intolerant Islamist government that gives Saudi Arabia a liberal appearance and addresses the cruelty and tyranny of Islamic State. The same forces that now justify the betrayal of our Afghan allies are attempting to whitewash threats to resubmit nearly 17 million Afghan women and to openly subordinate threats to the security of the United States in the name of a photo shoot. Ending endless wars may sound like a compelling populist slogan, but the deal signed in Doha ends the war in Afghanistan no more than President Trumps, a flurry of tweets to Afghanistan. last fall did not end the Syrian conflict.

Supporters and detractors of Trumps may agree that he has broken the mold of the presidency. In foreign policy, diplomats, journalists and analysts have sought to define the Trump doctrine. Often for his assistants and even his cabinet secretaries, this means reading his tweets and looking retroactively to apply some logic. In most cases, Trump is inconsistent. He kissed dictators and sang sweet words to the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but he sometimes threatened them and, in The case of Putin's regime has sanctioned them more than its detractors recognize. Trump has strayed from the Iranian nuclear deal but is likely to remain sincere in his desire to negotiate a new deal with Iran. The whole campaign of "maximum pressure" is just as directed towards this as towards a change of regime.

But at the end of Trumps' first term, there is a consistency in his vision of foreign policy: the idea that the American allies are irrelevant.

It's not just about playing hard with NATO or South Korea when it comes to their own contributions to the alliance. Rather, it is a betrayal of a life or death that can never be reversed. It was former President Barack Obama who withdrew victory from the table in his statement of his goals in Afghanistan, but he remained committed to the Afghan government. Trump felt no such obligation; he never recognized that the elected government, imperfect as it was, represented a bulwark against Al Qaedas' desire to fight the United States further. Likewise, he never understood that American support for the Syrian Kurds was not only morally the right thing to do, but it was also the best thing to do if the goal was to prevent the resurrection of the Islamic State and the ability of forces such as Russia, Iran and Turkey to promote terrorism in the region.

In other words, the Trump doctrine is a betrayal.

This is a lesson that Afghans and Kurds have learned well, and that South Koreans, Japanese, Estonians, Ukrainians and Israelis should take to heart. Trump hasn't stopped endless wars; he has just empowered the adversaries of the Americas and betrayed his allies when he lives under the illusion that America can and must go alone.

Michael Rubin (@ Mrubin1971) contributes to the Washington Exam & # 39; s Beltway's confidential blog. He is a resident researcher at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official.

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