"In Afghanistan, the damage of a chaotic American foreign policy"

In the absence of a coherent policy, Donald Trump having imposed and then broken at the last moment of negotiations with the Taliban, the United States can be brought to term to negotiate in even more difficult conditions, analyze, in a tribune to the "World", researchers Adam Baczko and Gilles Dorronsoro.

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Tribune. The impeachment procedure against President Trump launched by the House of Representatives on September 24 has, among other effects, that of largely paralyzing American foreign policy. State Department diplomats and intelligence agents are hindered by an administration that politicizes openly the management of files and whose conduct is always more unpredictable and irrational, as evidenced by the chaotic management of the Syrian file.

This open crisis accelerates the growing personalization of foreign policy marked by the weakening of the National Security Council and the growing weight of external advisers (Rudy Giuliani, various Fox News commentators, etc.). If we add the entry into the campaign for the November 2020 presidential election and the delay between the election of the president and the installation of a new team, US foreign policy will resume a normal course – in the best of times – only in the spring of 2021.

Incredible disorganization

The Afghan policy of the United States shows us the concrete consequences of this incredible disorganization. Recall that President Trump asked the US negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, and his team to quickly reach an agreement with the Taliban to complete the withdrawal of US troops before the US presidential election. This constraint explains why the Americans essentially yielded to Taliban demands, despite the lack of guarantees regarding the Islamic State and Al-Qaida organization.

Read also Afghanistan: Taliban reminds Trump of reality

These negotiations put the Taliban as credible interlocutors for all countries in the region and beyond, which was a major goal of the insurgency. Moreover, the entire process having been conducted outside the Kabul regime, the future of Afghanistan was decided in fact outside of its legal government. However, after paying the political price of the Taliban's political recognition and thus having alienated the Afghan government, President Trump canceled the scheduled meeting with them at Camp David on September 11 (a date choice for the least awkward … ) and stated, in the same vein, that the negotiations were "Dead" ( "Dead"). The exact reason for this last minute flip-flop is not known, even among American diplomats. It does not imply a return to the initial situation, recognition of the legitimacy of the Taliban is now an established fact.


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