This weekend, the U.S. got dealt another surprise from the Trump team — President Donald Trump was planning on hosting top leaders of the Taliban at Camp David for the latest step in now on-hold peace talks. After that secretly planned summit was cancelled, the Afghanistan-based militant group has issued a threatening statement asserting that more Americans will lose their lives in the wake of Trump’s fumble. He has been pushing to end the ongoing U.S. presence in Afghanistan for much of his rise to the national spotlight, but he has still not managed to make that dream a reality.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid shared in response to the Camp David summit cancellation:
‘This will lead to more losses to the U.S. Its credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase.’
The cancellation of a planned secret meeting unfolded after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a bombing attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul that claimed the lives of a dozen people, including one American soldier. Trump suggested that this claim of responsibility was an attempt by the Taliban to gain some kind of personal leverage over him ahead of a face-to-face meeting in light of the apparent force capability that it demonstrates. During Sunday morning news show appearances this weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted that in the last less than two weeks alone, U.S. forces had (supposedly) killed some 1,000 Taliban fighters — so the violence is and has been continuing, even amidst Trump administration claims of “great progress” or whatever.
A deal that had been on the table ahead of attempts at peace talks “dying… for the time being” in Pompeo’s description included the withdrawal of thousands of American troops currently stationed in Afghanistan. Although now, Pompeo says that any possible readjustments of troop numbers in the region are still up in the air, Trump’s team has already faced criticism from some like Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for even considering that reduction — and now, they’re facing even more criticism following the revelation that he was angling to host the Taliban on U.S. soil.
Top House Republican Liz Cheney (Wy.) — the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was in office when the U.S. first invaded Afghanistan — shared bluntly:
‘Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response after al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3000 Americans on 9/11. No member of the Taliban should set foot there. Ever.’
Pompeo claimed it was Trump’s personal idea to have the face-to-face chats, putting the failed plans in the same category as developments like Trump’s repeated one-on-one meetings with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
On Fox News Sunday, Pompeo shared:
‘President Trump ultimately made the decision. He said, ‘I want to talk to [Afghan President] Ashraf Ghani. I want to talk to these Taliban negotiators. I want to look them in the eye. I want to see if we can get to the final outcome we needed.’
World security issues can not be solved by Trump’s egotism, though.
Featured Image via screenshot