Top US general says Afghan collapse can be traced to Trump-Taliban deal | US military | The Guardian

The collapse of the Afghan government and its security forces can be traced to a 2020 agreement between the Taliban and the Trump administration that promised a complete US troop withdrawal, senior Pentagon officials have told Congress.

Gen Frank McKenzie, the head of central command, told the House armed services committee that once the US troop presence was pushed below 2,500 as part of President Joe Biden’s decision in April to complete a total withdrawal by September, the unraveling of the US-backed Afghan government accelerated.

“The signing of the Doha agreement had a really pernicious effect on the government of Afghanistan and on its military, psychological more than anything else, but we set a date – certain for when we were going to leave and when they could expect all assistance to end,” McKenzie said.

He was referring to a 29 February 2020, agreement that the Trump administration signed with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in which the US promised to fully withdraw its troops by May 2021 and the Taliban committed to several conditions, including stopping attacks on American and coalition forces. The stated objective was to promote a peace negotiation between the Taliban and the Afghan government, but that diplomatic effort never gained traction before Biden took office in January.

Source: Top US general says Afghan collapse can be traced to Trump-Taliban deal | US military | The Guardian