Acclaimed defense and security journalist Bill Gertz reports from CENTCOM that the US might have to negotiate peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. But Gertz quotes former White House aide Sebastian Gorka and Dr. Waller as saying that such a strategy is doomed.
“Sixteen years after invading Afghanistan, we find ourselves considering a way out to let the Taliban re-take the land and political space that we fought so hard to win,” Waller told Gertz in the October 13 Free Beacon.
“This is because the Defense Department no longer has an official definition for ‘victory.’ There was never a strategic plan for victory in Afghanistan. The Defense Department’s own official dictionary doesn’t mention the word ‘victory’ in its 387 pages,” Waller said.
“Without making military victory over the Taliban the main goal has shifted to a negotiated settlement,” according to Gertz.
“If we negotiate with the Taliban, we will show our intractable enemies that with enough determination, they can grind down the U.S. military,” Waller told Gertz. “If we provide that example, we invite a permanent jihad against us.”
“Waller said ideologically motivated jihadists do not negotiate the way nation states do, for political gain. Jihadists instead will use negotiations to achieve religious and ideological objectives,” Gertz reported.
“So any negotiation for us to withdraw from Afghanistan will result in an ultimate strategic victory for the Taliban and its foreign backers,” Waller said. “It will prove the hardiness of the Taliban-al Qaeda model over that of the Islamic State. There is no alternative for the United States but total destruction of the Taliban and its foreign sponsors.”