The Afghanistan Deal is Already Falling Apart

We should reduce the number of troops anyway.

by Willis L. Krumholz

The U.S. just signed a peace deal with the Taliban that would see U.S. forces exit Afghanistan in 14 months. Yet less than 24 hours after the peace deal was signed, it’s already unraveling after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected the timeline agreed to by America and the Taliban to exchange nearly 5,000 Taliban prisoners for around 1,000 Afghan government captives.

To be blunt, the details of this deal are a distraction. For America, a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is more urgent than the success or failure of a deal between the Taliban and Kabul.

Just observe how many hawks in Washington are already calling for President Donald Trump to rethink his plans to withdraw from Afghanistan. “We got a chance to end this Afghanistan War smartly and well but we’re gonna need a residual U.S. force, a counterterrorism presence for years to come because I don’t trust the Taliban to police Al Qaeda and ISIS,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), while championing never-ending U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

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