But various reporting has already made clear that the peace “deal” the Trump administration pursued with the Taliban in early 2020 set the stage for Afghanistan’s perilous governmental collapse.
The Taliban was easily able to capitalize on the uncertainty that arose from the February 2020 deal reached in Doha, as beleaguered Afghan forces and corrupt local officials realized that American air power and other military support were likely to greatly diminish. According to an Afghan special forces officer cited by the Post, some Afghans were glad to take the Taliban’s money while others “saw the U.S. commitment to a full withdrawal as an ‘assurance’ that the militants would return to power in Afghanistan and wanted to secure their place on the winning side.”
The strategy included the Trump administration working to spring senior Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar from prison in Pakistan; following Baradar’s release, Pompeo met and posed for photos with him, including during talks in November 2020. Trump himself, eager to be recorded by history as the president who ended the war, at one point had envisioned hosting peace accords with the Taliban at Camp David. For their part, Taliban leaders made it known they wanted to see Trump reelected.Trump’s “Deal” With the Taliban Set the Stage for Afghanistan’s Collapse – Mother Jones