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Q&A: Trump’s Approach to Afghanistan ‘Confusing His Own Negotiators’ Trump’s Approach to Afghanistan ‘Confusing ...
Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly derailed months of tense negotiations with the Taliban aimed at ending the nearly two-decade-long fight in Afghanistan. The U.S. talks with the Taliban have drawn controversy because they excluded direct negotiations with the Afghan government, with which the Taliban refuses to negotiate.
Foreign Policy spoke to Ryan Crocker, a former veteran career diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012, on what the sudden about-face means for the peace process and what likely will come next for the war-torn country. The interview was conducted before Trump on Tuesday announced that he had fired National Security Advisor John Bolton, who had pushed against the Afghanistan talks.
Foreign Policy: What was your reaction to the news that the president called off peace talks with the Taliban, and the secret meeting at Camp David?
Ryan Crocker: It was a stunning moment. I really did react with mixed emotions. I was appalled at the very idea of Taliban leaders being received by the president at Camp David, shaking hands and dining well while they are in the process of continuing to murder Afghan security forces and civilians, and our own troops. At the same time, I was relieved that the president, at least for the moment, had not only called off that catastrophic meeting but also had put a halt to the negotiations. I don’t know how long that halt will last. Since the very beginning, I have been saying as loudly as I can that this is exactly the wrong way to go. We are selling out the Afghan government and the Afghan people, particularly women and children.
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