On Sunday, Fox News analyst Britt Hume disparaged the administration’s Afghanistan peace talks with the Taliban, claiming that if the U.S. pulled troops out from what has become America’s longest war, it would essentially be a defeat.
“This is called losing,” he said. “We completely, ultimately abandoned the situation over there partly because it’s unpopular and partly because it’s going on for so long.”
A deal is reportedly nearing after several rounds of talks between the U.S. and the Taliban that would potentially see about half of the American troops deployed there sent home, with troop levels to be brought down to about 8,600 military members. In return, the Taliban will be committed to renounce Al Qaeda and engage in talks with the current Afghan government.
In yesterday’s “Fox News Sunday” panel discussion, Chris Wallace pointed out that “there have been no discussions between the Taliban and the Afghan government.”
“The Afghan government is terrified of being left alone with this Taliban, which just yesterday attacked a big town in Afghanistan,” said U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
“This President does seem to want to get most of, if not all U.S. troops out. It was a big campaign promise in 2016,” said Wallace. He pointed out that Pew Research recently found that the majority of Americans are against the war and they feel the war is not worth fighting.
“Can you trust the Taliban?” asked Wallace. “What happens if they say we are going to renounce Al Qaeda but not ISIS which seems to be a growing threat.” He also talked about women who “were completely subjugated under the Taliban for years in Afghanistan. “What happens if the Taliban roars back in and suddenly we go back to the Middle Ages?”
“This is one of the most heartbreaking pieces of all of this,” said journalist and Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson. “The fact that we are now 18 years in and still, we may be ending this or walking away, with the Taliban taking a position, we are letting them have a role … it is astonishing to me and heartbreaking that there are going to be women who will be subjugated, this is where things will be left.”
“This is called losing,” Hume declared. “We completely, ultimately abandon that situation over there, partly because it’s unpopular, partly because people are frustrated with it, partly because it’s going on for so long. We are not likely to appreciate the results and the public won’t either. Public opinion on this is likely to turn quite sharply if the scenario that you describe comes to pass.”
Video by Fox News
ABC News tweeted out a clip from a Wednesday press briefing by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Joseph Dunford. “I don’t think about it as we’re going to withdraw,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Joseph Dunford says about Afghanistan, “but as initiating dialogue to reach ‘peace and stability’ for the Afghan people and ensuring it’s not a ‘sanctuary’ for terrorism.”
“I don’t think about it as we’re going to withdraw,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Joseph Dunford says about Afghanistan, but as initiating dialogue to reach “peace and stability” for the Afghan people and ensuring it’s not a “sanctuary” for terrorism https://t.co/ytypbkHdOV pic.twitter.com/uP5DR7xitf
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 28, 2019
Earlier in the week, U.S. envoy Khalilzad insisted that Afghanistan will not be left undefended. “No one should be intimidated or fooled by propaganda! Let me be clear: We will defend Afghan forces now and after any agreement w/ the Talibs. All sides agree Afghanistan’s future will be determined in intra-Afghan negotiations,” he tweeted.
No one should be intimidated or fooled by propoganda! Let me be clear: We will defend Afghan forces now and after any agreement w/ the Talibs. All sides agree Afghanistan’s future will be determined in intra-Afghan negotiations.
— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) August 26, 2019
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