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America's Peace Deal Favors Taliban: Petraeus, Serchuk

02 Apr 2020 Tolo News

David Petraeus, former US CIA director and former commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and Vance Serchuk, executive director of the KKR Global Institute, co-authored an article published in Foreign Affairs on Thursday saying that the US peace deal with the Taliban favors the insurgent group.

The article was published with the title “Can America Trust the Taliban to Prevent Another 9/11?”

In the article Petraeus likens the signing of the US peace deal with the Taliban to gambling.

The co-authors write:

"It is, in essence, a wager that the United States can still achieve the same strategic ends in Afghanistan, but by radically different means. Rather than sustaining an American presence in coalition with like-minded Afghans, the deal seeks to make the Taliban itself into a principal guarantor of US counterterrorism interests. In doing so, the agreement holds out the tantalizing prospect of transforming Afghanistan from a problem that will require the perpetual military management of the United States into one that can be solved politically, once and for all."

 However, Petraeus and Serchuk, echoing the fears brought up others in the Washington community about relying on the Taliban to maintain security, say that the risks are "huge."

“The risks presented by this gamble are huge, and the signs from the deal’s early aftermath—continued Taliban attacks and an Afghan government in disarray—are not encouraging. Most worrying, there is a fundamental asymmetry at the heart of the agreement, such that the more Washington implements its obligations under the deal, the less constrained the Taliban will be to keep its own,” Petraeus wrote in the article.

The "asmmetry" of the deal is further explained: 

"This structure presents an obvious asymmetry. Determining if thousands of uniformed military personnel have exited Afghanistan is relatively straightforward. Assessing the Taliban’s compliance with its counterterrorism commitments, by contrast, entails much greater nuance and complexity."

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