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Has Trump surrendered Afghanistan to the Taliban?

25 334 785
26.02.2020

Two decades after its invasion of Afghanistan, the United States has come to the inevitable conclusion that it must end its military intervention there.

Unable to win against the Taliban insurgency, Washington has finally given up on a military solution and embraced negotiations, dictated largely by those it long deemed terrorist fundamentalist killers "swathed in American blood".

The decision has been a long time coming, but successive US administrations have persistently avoided it, insisting that the US was "making progress", if not outright winning.

The secret documents dubbed the "Afghanistan Papers" released last year revealed a long-standing official policy of deliberately deceiving the American public into thinking everything was fine on the war front when in fact nothing was.

Just like the 1971 "Pentagon Papers" about the war in Vietnam, the new revelations made it clear that this was also an unwinnable war and that it was only a matter of time before the US pulled out.

In this context, the deal reached with the Taliban in Doha this month may soften the blow, but the compromises are no less humbling for the US and quite unsettling for its Afghan allies.

It took the US and its allies only two months to "liberate" Kabul from the grip of the Taliban and less than two years for the then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to declare at a May 1, 2003, news conference in Kabul that "major combat activity" was over.

This was the same day President George W Bush proclaimed rather bombastically that the war in Iraq was "mission accomplished".

The US did disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, at least militarily, and in 2011 killed its leader Osama bin Laden, but all subsequent military surges and strategies failed to crush or contain the Taliban.

Instead of declaring victory against al-Qaeda and calling it a day, considering that the Taliban took no part in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, the US persisted in its war efforts.

But........

© Al Jazeera