Cutting Losses in Afghanistan: Ongoing Attacks Throw Trump-Taliban Pact Into Doubt

After invading in 2011 to depose the Taliban government and pursue its Al-Qaeda allies, the US now finds itself negotiating for peace with those same men, and largely in the absence of serious results.

Two bloody massacres carried out against civilians in Afghanistan this week, one of which killed two newborn babies, have raised serious questions about the viability of the recently signed US-Taliban peace deal, potentially suggesting that the Trump administration may be better off cutting its losses and abandoning the war-ravaged country altogether.

As part of its so-called ‘Agreement For Bringing Peace to Afghanistan,’ also known as ‘The Doha Deal,’ the Trump Administration sought to bring to a close America’s longest running war, which still costs the American taxpayer, according to US government auditors, approximately $4 billion per year. Under the deal, the US would cut its forces in Afghanistan down from roughly 14,000 to 8,600 my mid-July if the Taliban kept to its commitment to reduce violence and engage with the central government. A full withdrawal would ensue within 14 months thereafter.

Furthermore, intra-Afghan talks between the Taliban and the Kabul-based government of Ashraf Ghani were supposed to be initiated on March 10, but both sides have yet to seriously commit to that effort. When they tried to do so in April, little progress was made and the Taliban’s representatives walked out, slamming efforts as “fruitless.”

Two recent incidents…

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