Resetting the prospects for peace with security in Afghanistan

President Trump and the First Lady spent Thanksgiving in Afghanistan with U.S. troops. While he was at it, Mr. Trump reset the terms for renewed talks with our principal enemy there, the Taliban.

The President prides himself on being an accomplished negotiator. Stipulating that the Taliban agree to a cease-fire – something they had heretofore refused to do – is a classic technique of moving the goal posts to improve the likely outcome of such talks.

Mr. Trump should now double down by establishing conditions under which such a cease-fire would likely conduce to an actual peace with security for the Afghan people. He should replace most of the remaining U.S. forces in country with contractors to support Afghanistan’s armed forces while adopting the successful Vietnam-era CORDS counter-insurgency model for securing the population.

That’s a formula for victory, not surrender to the Taliban.

About Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.