Key Points

While others may have caused and exacerbated the crisis, resolving it would help defuse the Russian and Syrian threat to the base at al-Tanf and establish the United States and its allies on the ground as sources of reliable humanitarian assistance, a critical part of establishing good will and stability in the area surrounding al-Tanf.

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Trump was right in 2014 when he decried the Obama administration’s decision to exchange the Taliban Five for a traitor. Yet now his administration is negotiating with these very same killers. These talks undermine the legitimacy of the Afghan government—America’s chief ally in the war against the Taliban—and bolster our enemies. Whatever “peace” we eventually declare will be nothing but a Taliban victory.

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The costs of failing to address America’s crisis of national defense will be far greater and will be not be measured in abstract concepts like “international stability” and “global order.” They will be tallied in American lives, American treasure, and American security and prosperity lost

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If President Trump understands and agrees with this, he will want to ask some hard questions over the weeks ahead. He also might consider requesting new and improved policy options. In Afghanistan and beyond, the United States needs to do better than it’s done over the past 10 years.

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All the while, the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is running a shadow government, which is preparing to rule over more ground in the future.

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Events

EVENT: Losing a War in Afghanistan: Countering the Taliban and Understanding U.S. Policies

November 15, 2018 | 12:15

Projects