Foreign Policy

‘It’s not suppose to happen that way’

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It seems likely to me that the legitimate government of Afghanistan will collapse and the Taliban will resume control of the country after American forces withdraw, but I'm not an expert.

Actual experts say the same thing, however, according to NBC News.

NBC News reports that American intelligence officials have evidence that the Taliban have no intention of honoring their agreements after American troops leave, but this does not appear to be much a secret nor is the Trump White House concerned about it. Trump himself acknowledge that it could happen when he spoke to reporters today, but he more or less shrugged at the notion.

"They have no intention of abiding by their agreement," said one official briefed on the intelligence, which two others described as explicit evidence shedding light on the Taliban's intentions.

Trump himself acknowledged that reality in extraordinary comments Friday, saying the Taliban could "possibly" overrun the Afghan government after U.S. troops withdraw.

"Countries have to take care of themselves," Trump told reporters at the White House. "You can only hold someone's hand for so long." Asked if the Taliban could eventually seize power, Trump said it's "not supposed to happen that way, but it possibly will."

As I've said before, I don't know if it's our responsibility to remain in Afghanistan forever, nor do I know if it would even be helpful if we did, but this is something else.

There's a certain amount plausible deniability in a world where no one can say what's going to happen next, but in this case we have intelligence (I assume its signal intelligence) telling us what's going to happen next. And the best thing Trump can say is we 'can't hold someone's hand' forever.

As much as I hesitate to say 'imagine if a Democrat did this' yet again, it is undoubtedly true no other president could get away with this. It's just generally accepted that Trump is going to break the world and perhaps that partially explains the resurgence of Vice President Joe Biden. A Biden administration wouldn't be revolutionary, but maybe average Americans would like a little less chaos and a little more normalcy.

  • Badgerite

    trump’s ‘foreign policy’ is to surrender everywhere to everyone. Kim Jung Un, Putin, the Taliban, ISIS. Surrender to everyone, everywhere. This has been the ‘policy’ from day one. And then leave the US a ‘shining’ trash heap on a hill.

  • muselet

    Long after Donald Trump is dead and gone, much of the rest of the world will, understandably, despise the United States.

    No, the US can’t and shouldn’t stay in Afghanistan forever. But simply walking away with a cheery wave and letting the country deal with the chaos and destruction that will inevitably follow is simply not the right way to leave. I don’t know exactly what the right way might entail, but I can recognize the wrong way.

    –alopecia