WASHINGTON – James Carafano, Heritage Foundation vice president for national security and foreign policy, and Luke Coffey, director of Heritage’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy, responded Friday to reports of a phased peace agreement between the United States, the Afghan government and the Taliban:
“Every foreign policy decision by the president should enhance the security and safety of the American people. President Trump’s pursuit of a peace deal involving the Afghan government and the Taliban is consistent with achieving that goal. The administration has an opportunity to make much-needed progress in the region, but the Taliban must first demonstrate a true commitment to reducing violence and breaking ties with al-Qaeda.
“The United States has an undeniable national security interest in Afghanistan. Trump is wise to keep roughly 8,600 troops in the country to continue training and advising Afghan forces, and conducting vital counterterrorism operations that help keep America and our allies and partners safe. Our presence is key to ensuring Afghanistan can never again be a base of operations for attacks against America and our allies. The president is right to do what’s best for the country rather than what seems easy, and to resist the empty ‘forever war’ rhetoric so unfortunately common today. The coming weeks will be important to the fate of any deal, but its success is vital to our security.”