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IPFS News Link • Afghanistan

The Taliban agreement isn't ideal, but the U.S. military has to get out of Afghanistan

• by John Glaser

 Opponents have criticized the arrangement as the terms for American "surrender," with some predicting an intensified outbreak of violence in the name of securing full Taliban control. After 18 years of fighting, The Bulwark's Shay Khatiri laments Trump's willingness "to simply throw in the towel unconditionally and walk away, as Nixon did in Vietnam."

In some important respects, the recent U.S. agreement with the Taliban does resemble the January 1973 agreement the Nixon administration signed with the communists in Vietnam. But that may not be all bad news.

As in Vietnam, the deal sets up a ceasefire in place and a withdrawal of U.S. troops and is essentially a face-saving agreement for the United States to get out. And as in Vietnam, the United States has largely excluded locals allied with Washington from the negotiations. The Vietnam analogy also suggests that as U.S. troops are withdrawn, there will be a much reduced interest in the area among policymakers and the public and gradual cutbacks in financial support for the local regime.