President Donald Trump has declared that any possible deal with the Taliban is now off the table. After a recent attack for which the Taliban claimed responsibility, Trump walked away from negotiations.
Instead of working towards a deal with the Taliban, Trump said that the war has escalated, and the U.S. has “hit the Taliban harder in the last four days than they’ve been hit in over ten years.”
Talks are Dead
Proposed talks between Trump and the Taliban have hit a sudden wall. Trump said, “They’re dead as far as I’m concerned.”
Things seemed to be going smoothly until a car bomb went off in Kabul that killed 10 civilians as well as American and Romanian soldiers. An additional 42 people were injured from the blast that occurred in a heavily fortified zone in the city.
The Taliban defended their actions in light of the talks, saying, “We understand that peace talks are going on … But they must also understand that we are not weak and if we enter into talks … We enter from a strong position.”
One can be forgiven for being completely lost as to why they think they can blow people up while also attempting to negotiate.
Trump is completely right to walk away from peace talks. The Taliban clearly cannot be trusted.
Trump will now seek to hit the Taliban hard for their actions. There cannot be peace unless the Taliban is pummeled into submission.
The other option is to simply withdraw and watch Afghanistan descend into a brutal civil war. Trump isn’t willing to let that happen. It would be a choice almost certain to lead to thousands of deaths.
So all that can be done is to attack the Taliban and make them realize that their posturing will not be tolerated. The Taliban was crushed before and can be crushed again.
Whichever option leads to the U.S. getting out as quickly as possible while also offering the best chance for the future stability of Afghanistan is what Trump needs to pursue. He acknowledged that fact, but said, “We’ll get out at the right time.”
As the Taliban ramps up attacks in an effort to intimidate, it is clear that this is not the right time.