A few points about this Breitbart interview with Pompeo on #AfghanPeaceProcess 1/5

1. A bit stunning for the Secretary of State, and frankly not credible, to hinge optimism on saying Taliban already have “a very clear set of objectives”, what “they want and they need” from talks. See this:

2. He seems to be saying - but wording not entirely clear - that he does NOT yet know what the objectives are of the govt that has been US close partner for 2 decades (“when I understand what the Afghan govt wants and needs ...)
3. Pompeo introduced a new condition for US withdrawal: Both Taliban and Afghan govt need to “ensure that outside actors don’t act as spoilers,” noting “many hands” would “like to see America mired in Afghanistan for another 20 years” and govt and Taliban have to “prevent that.”
It’s illogical to threaten that a reason US mil might stay in #Afghanistan is if Taliban and govt fail to prevent external powers from trying to make sure US has to stay.

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More from @LaurelMillerICG

29 Feb
THREAD on what's new in US-#Taliban deal signed today and in US-Islamic Republic of Afghanistan "Joint Declaration," and analysis of who got what. (Plus link to full texts.) 1/19 state.gov/agreement-for-…
Easy part first: There's nothing new in the Joint Declaration signed in Kabul today. It reaffirms existing commitments and it re-states some of US-Taliban agreement. It's purpose is evidently political symbolism - a US message of non-abandonment. 2/19
In small win for political opposition in Kabul, Declaration refers to "inclusive negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" for next stage of process -- the intra-Afghan negotiations. Debate will continue over whether govt leaders are being inclusive enough. 3/19
Read 19 tweets
28 Feb
THREAD. With US-#Taliban deal imminent, I'm often asked, why now? Why has the negotiation reached a conclusion now and not earlier in 10 years of on-and-off US efforts to launch an #AfghanPeaceProcess? Three inter-related changes in US policy explain the difference . . . . 1/13
First is heightened US desire to draw down US military presence in #Afghanistan. This didn't start with Trump; he accelerated a political trend that was already gradually building. And he scared US national security principals into thinking he might pull out troops abruptly. 2/13
Obama supposedly wanted to end US mil presence by end of his term, but his Administration never put attempt to negotiate a way out at the center of US policy. Nor did Trump, at first, but that changed in late 2018, after Trump tried a somewhat stepped-up military effort. 3/13
Read 13 tweets

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