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Checkpoint Asia

As US-Taliban Peace Deal Nears, Opponents Are Out in Force. Bolton and Reportedly Pompeo Among Them

Because what makes more sense than keep a 19-year war going?

Pompeo reportedly declining to sign

Indications are that the US and Taliban have reached a peace agreement, and that both sides are looking to make an announcement, potentially quite soon. Not that everybody is on board, however, and those who aren’t on board are out in force trying to sabotage the deal before it can happen.

After 19 years of war, a lot of the momentum behind the war is baked into US media narratives, and all those outlets are pushing the idea that the Taliban can’t be trusted to make a deal, because that’s the idea they’ve been pushing since they first heard of the Taliban.

The media tries to present Afghan officials as being averse to the peace deal, because they didn’t have a say in the content, and also making peace bad for Afghan civilians, because they’ve been selling the Taliban as persecuting more or less everybody so long it would be unthinkable to reporters not to assume that everyone would oppose peace.

Within the US,  political opposition centers on hawks, both in Congress and in the administration. John Bolton is surely one, and if Time Magazine’s unsourced report on Pompeo refusing to endorse the deal is to be believed, he’s an opponent too.

There are a lot of excuses to not make peace, which there would have to have been for the war to drag on this long. The peace deal comes as the war seems increasingly fruitless, and it’s going to take a lot of efforts to keep the war going this time.