Afghanistan: Trump’s Art Of The Deal Inaction?


I’d say this was a conspiracy theory … but evidently, it is quite out in the open. What if … events in Afghanistan over the past few weeks weren’t some horrid surprise – but something the Trump Administration was fundamentally OK with.

Think about it. Trump’s a business-man. He maybe saw the ongoing investiture of American forces in Afghanistan as a significant cost … and for what objective? Well, the official purpose of it, was somewhere between “Keep Al Qaeda / ISIS Out Of Afghanistan”, and “Nationbuild”.

The latter purpose was .. not going that well, and in any case, wasn’t something various portions of the US state have been hugely interested in, in comparison to that *other* objective.

Now, if the Taliban have actually been pretty pro-active in fighting ISIS (with, interestingly, American support – it turned out that America was running airstrikes *for* the Taliban in this regard, of late) … well, a businessman’s mind might see it like this:

“We can keep expending money and manpower to fight these guys AND keep a lid on ISIS etc. .. OR, we can subcontract out – get these guys we’re fighting to actually do the expenditures FOR us TO fight the guys we both don’t like, and all we have to do is stop dying in their land. Win-win!”

And, in a certain way, it is.

It’s an acknowledgement that unless the US was prepared to actually restore troop-levels and active-investment in Afghanistan *in the long term*, that the Taliban *were* going to wind up significantly powerful and able to enforce themselves as a government (or, at the very least, as ‘part’ of a government) – so may as well cut them a deal, right?

And, as icing on the cake .. the CIA gets to continue to do CIA things in Taliban held territory, to make sure that Al Qaeda or Iran don’t do whatever it is the CIA wants you to believe Al Qaeda or Iran gonna do. Hell, they might even manage to subcontract out torturing people at black-sites to the Taliban, kinda like the cozy relationship they had with Gaddafi’s guys in Libya in the mid-00s.

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We might even get a resumption of small Cessna-style aircraft taking off from local airports laden with ‘high-value imports’ going the other way again … you know what I mean.

And what did the Taliban have to do in exchange for all of that?

*Not* kill any American servicemen for awhile (and they were *scrupulously* good at that last year), and make some vague declarations about how they were going to respect the rights of women and minorities .. broadly speaking.

What have they emphatically done over the past week?

Made vague declarations that many people understandably don’t *at all* believe, about how they’re going to respect the rights of women and minorities.

It’s Win-Win.

And the best part?

The collapse happened after Trump was no longer President, so the same guy whose administration negotiated to make all of this possible in the first place… gets to point the finger at his successor for sticking to *his plan* and be like “Miss me yet?”


  1. The big lie in all this is that the collapse of the puppet government in Kabul was due to a “failure of intelligence”. The fact is that while the intelligence services of the Five Eyes may be evil, they are not stupid. They know what is going on, and they tell the government what is going on (with very rare exceptions, and this is not one). So the government hears what is going on from the intelligence service (which usually only confirms what the government itself can read in the situation) but for political reasons gives out a different story to the public. When the officially public story and the actual reality can no longer exist in the same space, the discrepancy is put down to “a failure of intelligence”.
    Helen Clark has been enlisted to trot out this lie on behalf of government in relation to the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, so that at least a section of the New Zealand public will be left believing “We weren’t misled. The government was misled by its own intelligence service”. The intelligence service won’t contradict that narrative, as any normal government department might, either explicitly or by implication, because the intelligence service is playing the same strategic game as the government on behalf of the Five Eyes. This “failure”, which is not a failure at all, will be rewarded with promotions, salary hikes, and increased powers and the game will go on.
    Another “failure of intelligence” that never happened was in relation to Brenton Tarrant and the Al Noor massacre. The intelligence services knew about Tarrant and what he was about from the moment he set foot in New Zealand if not before. You don’t have to be a spook to put together all the public evidence that pointed to Tarrant as a person of interest well before he perpetrated the massacre. However it absolutely suits the entire state apparatus to have people believe that there was a failure of intelligence.
    The same applies to Afghanistan. Any first year political science student could pick that after the evacuation of US military personnel the fall of the Kabul regime must be very rapid.
    It is another question whether the Five Eyes will get what they want out of the new Taliban regime. (It is worth noting that the rights of women, girls, ethnic and religious minorities don’t even figure on the Five Eyes list).
    Will the Taliban opt for a modus vivendi with Iran and other regional states, or for a continuing relationship with the United States? In the aftermath of the Vietnam war the US did manage to exploit the differences between China and Vietnam to its own advantage, albeit rather too slowly and uncertainly. In Iraq it managed to retain a measure of influence as a bulwark against Iran. The US knows how to do these things, even if it does not always do them particularly well. It will continue to work on deepening the Sunni/Shia divide in Afghanistan and in the region. If it is up to the US, the Hazara people will be left in the same unfortunate position as the Kurds of Syria and Afghanistan – used and then abandoned.

  2. 12th April 1975
    “The United States has no obligation to evacuate one — or 100,001 — South Vietnamese,”
    Sen. Joe Biden to Congress

  3. Either way the American withdrawal has been handled very badly and no matter of finger pointing will absolve Biden of being highly complicit in this disaster.

    The fact that Trump may or may not have done some stuff previously only makes Biden look worse because Biden would have known about what had happened prior and yet he still didn’t act on what he knew.

  4. As the new government of Afghanistan the Taliban will have to deal with their neighbours. What part will China play in Afghanistan’s future? What of Taliban ties with Iran and Pakistan?
    I read that China will replace the U.S.A in influence as Afghanistan rebuilds. Personally I foresee some obstacles.
    Ancient ones like myself may remember the domino theory which claimed if South Vietnam surrendered to communist North Vietnam it would extend Chinese Communist power throughout South -East Asia.
    No, what actually happened was warfare between China and Vietnam and a war between Vietnam and Cambodia.
    A continuation of long standing regional rivalries.
    Many years ago I heard a Taliban representative speaking in New Zealand about their struggle against Soviet occupation. He made it plain that while they might receive aid from the U.S.A and Britain their closest sympathies were with the Islamic theocracy in Iran.
    He stated it was the model they wished to implement.
    He also stated the Taliban’s sympathy for Chinese muslims( including Uyghurs).
    In forming a closer relationship with China the Taliban will have to decide how closely they wish to support people they see as relatives and fellow muslims. Either they abandon their principles ( and Uyghurs) in return for Chinese help, or they annoy a superpower other than the U.S.A .
    Given their obstinacy in refusing to give up their fellow muslim Osama Bin Laden to the Americans I predict a rocky road ahead for a Sino-Afghan relationship.

  5. This is all on Biden. Weasel words and claims are just that. Why don’t the left own their own fuckups?

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