The United States has just signed a very tentative peace deal with the Taliban, which if successful, will remove all American troops from Afghanistan.
That's a very big deal and you would think the US Secretary of State would have all of the details about the agreement well in hand before announcing the agreement, right?
Any step taken by any American leader for peace is a good thing, however...
The Trump administration has been incompetent in so many foreign and domestic theaters like North Korea and the coronavirus press conference. They're also headed up by a compulsive liar. It's essential to check out what they've agreed to.
And it appears there's hardly any real agreements between our sides, especially when the Afghanistan government was not included in the talks.
Margaret Brennan on CBS's Face The Nation asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to explain elements of the peace deal.
As usual, Mike Pompeo provided no concrete information, but handed out vague assurances and proclamations.
Already a major point of hard-line contention is the alleged agreement to release 5000 Taliban prisoners.
Brennan said, "The U.S. pledged in this agreement, which is public, as you say, that it will help to get up to five thousand Taliban prisoners released. The president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, says no way, no how.
It's a simple yes-or-no question. Pompeo should've had a clear response ready, but instead, he refused to answer and spoke prepared talking points and jingoistic hyperbole to fill up the time.
"You saw what the document says. It says, we will work with all relevant--,"
Brennan replied, "So Ghani-- what he is saying is wrong?"
"It says that we will work with all relevant parties to build on confidence, to create confidence-building measures among all of the parties, the Afghan government, non-Taliban, and others in the Afghan. We-- we want this to be an inclusive process," Pompeo said.
She countered by asking if this can be accomplished in the ten days that he promised.
He replied by criticizing the Afghanistan president, "There will be lots of noise. Everyone is competing for attention and time in the media."
That's not media attention at all. Ghani should be very worried and furious that the US agreed to release 5000 Taliban prisoners without their consent.
After she tried to interrupt him, the CBS host let him finish his unserious monologue.
He said, "We've built an important base where we can begin to bring American soldiers home, reduce the risk of the loss of life of any American in Afghanistan, and, hopefully, set the conditions so the Afghan people can build out a peaceful resolution to their, now what for them is a forty-year struggle.
Brennan replied, "Well, putting five thousand or up to five thousand fighters back on the field is, obviously-- would have a significant impact on-- on any of the implementation, one would think. So, are-- are-- "
His response was to tell her that "there have been prisoner releases from both sides before."
Not of this magnitude and not when the Afghanistan government hasn't even been consulted.
This past year while negotiations were ongoing, it was a year of record violence from both sides.
And calling the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, "an attention seeker" is not a smart way to negotiate with the government of Afghanistan.
It appears the so-called Secretary of State fails at Diplomacy 101.