The Trump administration announced over the weekend that a deal has been reached between the United States and the Taliban, which could result in American troops exiting that nation after being there since 2001.
The deal, however, already has its critics, with some alleging that President Donald Trump’s so-called “peace deal” isn’t quite as solid as some may think it is.
Max Boot, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post, penned an opinion piece on Saturday saying as much.
“It has been heartening to see a steep reduction in violence over the past week,” Boot wrote.
However, “there is no agreement on a permanent cease-fire, much less a resolution of all the issues that divide the democratically elected Afghan government from the Taliban,” he said. “What was signed on Saturday is an agreement to try to reach an agreement.”
A thought I’ve had since I wrote this article: The agreement calls for a US troop pullout by April 2021 (46th anniversary of fall of Saigon!) but I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump completes the pullout by November—ahead of the US election. https://t.co/DebVeshBrc
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) February 29, 2020
According to the New York Times, the agreement between the U.S. and Taliban forces would result in an automatic withdrawal of 5,000 American troops within 135 days. After that, troop reductions would be dependent on Taliban actions — including respecting the civil rights of Afghanistan citizens.
Within 14 months, if the deal goes according to plan, all U.S. troops could be removed from the country.
Boot doesn’t see reason to be optimistic about things, however. He foresees three outcomes: a “good” one where everything DOES happen as desired, a “bad” one where the peace holds but the Taliban overtakes the government and doesn’t adhere to the agreements, and an “ugly” situation that would be similar to what happened after the U.S. left Vietnam.
“If I had to bet now, I would say that the “ugly” scenario is the most likely and the “good” scenario the least likely,” Boot wrote.
Boot also warned against Trump possibly using the agreement as campaign fodder — and speeding up the process of withdrawal, ahead of the 2020 presidential general election, in order to win, even if it doesn’t produce positive outcomes.
“Trump is plainly itching to leave, and could easily decide to pull out whether the Taliban are complying or not just so he will have something to brag about with voters,” Boot wrote.