US military says Trump's Taliban peace deal is mostly useless

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The Taliban already appears to be violating the peace deal it struck with Trump on Feb. 29.

The peace deal Donald Trump struck with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan is already falling apart, with the top U.S. commander saying that the Taliban is already violating the agreement by resuming attacks on Afghan forces.

Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday that if the Taliban continues with the level of violence, he will recommend that the military not withdraw troops from Afghanistan, as laid out in a deal Trump announced on Feb. 29.

"To date, Taliban attacks are higher than we believe are consistent with an idea to actually carry out this plan," McKenzie said, according to the Associated Press. "If they’re unable to draw down the current level of attacks, then the political leadership will be able to make decisions based on that."

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The deal the Trump administration struck with the Taliban would require the group to renounce al-Qaida and prevent terrorist attacks in the country. In exchange, the United States would begin drawing back troops from the country, with a full draw down to occur in 14 months.

Trump personally took credit for the deal, saying, "We think we’ll be successful in the end."

However, it apparently took less than two weeks for the Taliban to drop its end of the deal, carrying out at least 76 attacks since the deal was announced, the New York Times reported.

One Democratic senator who was briefed on the situation said he thinks Trump got played by the group.

"I got a classified briefing today on the agreement with the Taliban. I have been a supporter of negotiations with the Taliban, but the more I learn, the more concerned I become that Trump got fleeced," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted late Monday night.

According to Murphy, "The Taliban's security guarantees are so vague as to be effectively void. It's not clear how we will track whether they are indeed renouncing terrorist groups."

McKenzie was asked about this specific concern on Tuesday. He agreed that it was challenging to determine whether the Taliban was, in fact, renouncing al-Qaida.

"That’s something they [the Taliban] are going to have to demonstrate that has not yet been demonstrated," he said, according to the AP.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.