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Pompeo’s Underwhelming Defense of the Trump–Taliban Agreement

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Then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo arrives for a meeting with the Taliban’s peace negotiation team amid talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar, November 21, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/Pool via Reuters) The best spin Pompeo can now put on it is that a reelected Trump would have abandoned it.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE U p until things recently turned into a five-alarm debacle in Afghanistan, former president Donald Trump’s major criticism was that his successor wasn’t getting out of Afghanistan fast enough. He derided President Biden for extending the withdrawal deadline. Put aside that the total U.S. pullout, under any circumstances, would have eviscerated the counter-terrorism mission that continues to be essential — namely, denying anti-American jihadists sanctuary from and operational partnership with the host regime. As we now see, the May 1 date, on which Trump agreed in a formal February 2020 agreement with the Taliban, would have been even more reckless than …

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