“So-Called ‪’Peace Deal’ Is Anything But”: Critics Warn US-Taliban Deal Exposes Fallacies of Endless War Paradigm

While President Donald Trump bragged Saturday about an agreement signed by the U.S. government and the Taliban as a milestone towards ending the war in Afghanistan that has raged now for the nearly two decades—devastating the Afghan people and the wider region—Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the staunchest anti-war voices in Congress, denounced the deal as a little more than a sham.

“After nearly two decades of endless war, it’s become clear that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan,” Lee said in a statement. “But this so-called ‪’peace deal’ is anything but.”

The Guardian reports:

At a signing ceremony in Doha on Saturday, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar took turns to address a crowd of senior dignitaries. Although the deal was signed by the US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, it was the first time a U.S. cabinet member had met members of the insurgency.

The Taliban have agreed to sever ties with al-Qaida and other international terror groups and sit down for peace talks with other Afghans, including a government they have always denounced as a US puppet. In return, Washington will start a phased withdrawal of troops.

Troop levels will be cut to 8,600 over the next 135 days and five bases will be closed. If both sides keep to their commitments, all U.S. military forces could leave Afghanistan by spring 2021, although Washington is thought to want to keep intelligence operatives on the ground fighting Isis and al-Qaida.

According to Lee, nobody should be fooled into thinking that this is a “peace” agreement.

“It leaves thousands of troops in Afghanistan and lacks the critical investments in peacebuilding, human-centered development, or governance reform needed to rebuild Afghan society,” the Congresswoman said.

As peace advocates have been saying since even before the U.S. invasion took place in 2001, following the attacks of September 11, there was never a military solution to the situation in Afghanistan. That remains true today.

“Two decades of trying to bomb our way to peace have made clear: there is no U.S. military solution in Afghanistan,” said Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War, in a statement.

While the a reduction in U.S. military presence “is a welcome step,” Stephens said, the agreement “utterly fails to confront the underlying logic of military occupation, lacks any strategy for long-term peace, and falls far short of accountability and justice. It is no ‘peace deal.'”

Like Lee, Stephens said that deal that leaves nearly two-thirds of current U.S. forces in Afghanistan for ‘counterterrorism’ purposes—”bringing levels down to about where they were when Trump entered office”—cannot be considered a peace deal. While the drawdown can be considered a positive development, he said, the agreement “is far from an end to endless war—and further still from anything that would ensure stability, peace, and justice after decades of violence.”

Vijay Prashad, foreign policy expert and director of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, put the absurdity of the situation this way:

And the anti-war veterans groups About Face tweeted:

While she called the agreement “a step forward as we work to stop endless war,” Lee said it’s critical to recognize that “there’s still a long way to go,” including the repeal of two Authorizations for Use of Military Force—one from 2001 and another from 2020—under which U.S. overseas war and imperialist policies continue in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere continue to be waged.

Members of Congress, said Lee, must “reassert our Constitutional duty over war and peace.”

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4 Comments on "“So-Called ‪’Peace Deal’ Is Anything But”: Critics Warn US-Taliban Deal Exposes Fallacies of Endless War Paradigm"

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Mik
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The Taliban is basically a drug cartel linked to heroin sales. The only way to win that war was through house to house confiscation of weapons, and either killing or jailing anyone found with weapons — along with bombing all of the poppy growing areas into oblivion. It had to be merciless. Or: completely close any exports off, and use economic sanctions against anyone or any nation that does business with Afghanistan. This so-called withdrawal essentially means that every American killed died in vain, and every penny spent was a waste of American money, and the future of Afganuistan is… Read more »
Nobsartist
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Nobsartist

The only reason that we were there is because another mentally ill republiCLOWN that cheated his way into office had to protect the poppy crop for big pharma. Now that we have synthetic fentanyl, we don’t need poppies!

Independent
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Independent

What is the significance of 135 days Hmm mmm mmm?

Independent
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Independent

If. You want a civilian’s point of view read maladia’s well written story of what she, her family and neighbors went through. Maybe someone can read it to donnie..