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article imageOp-Ed: US increased attacks during peace talks imitating Taliban tactics

By Ken Hanly     Sep 13, 2019 in Politics
In rejecting a recent peace agreement with the Taliban Trump concentrated on the fact that the Taliban escalated attacks during the talks to gain leverage and were not willing to grant a cease fire.
US vastly increase airstrikes to gain leverage at the talks
During a critical time of the peace talks, the US was launching more attacks than at any time during the year In August the US launched 810 airstrikes most of them targeting the Taliban. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested just last week that the US had killed around 1,0000 Taliban fighters in the course of 10 days. That is far more than the Taliban killed. Killing one US soldier seemed to hasten rejection of the peace treaty. As a recent CNBC article reports: "U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he canceled peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders after the insurgent group said it was behind an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people."
US criticism of the Taliban hypocritical
While the US was rejecting the peace agreement because of Taliban attacks, it was at the same time causing many more casualties by attacks on the Taliban. The Taliban had been carrying out attacks for some time as had the US but the talks progressed favorably resulting in an agreement in principle. Why did Trump wait until then?
Agreement in principle had been reached
On September 9 CNN reported: "President Donald Trump's special envoy for Afghanistan said Monday that the US and the Taliban have reached an agreement "in principle," pending final approval by the President. Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad told Afghanistan's TOLOnews that a draft agreement will see the US pull troops from five bases across Afghanistan within 135 days as long as the Taliban meets conditions set in the agreement."
If the deal had been accepted it would have marked the beginning of the end for the longest running US war nearly 18 years. The conflict was triggered by Sept. 11 2001 terrorist attack. Although the terrorists were not Taliban the group harbored Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The war has cost the US taxpayer billions of dollars and more than 2,300 US soldiers have been killed.
During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. That pledge now seems to be forgotten as Trump promises to hit the Taliban more than ever before. No doubt there will be even more costs to the US both in casualties and in taxpayer dollars.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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