Trump's now-cancelled Camp David talks with the Taliban are the latest example of Trump being in over his head, now it's the rest of the GOP's job to bail him out. Luckily for him, the Taliban are pretty repugnant terrorist killers and are pretty bad at general PR.
President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel Afghan peace talks will cost more American lives, the Taliban said on Sunday while the United States promised to keep up military pressure on the militants, in a stunning reversal of efforts to forge a deal ending nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan.
The Islamist group issued a statement after Trump unexpectedly canceled secret talks planned for Sunday with the Taliban’s major leaders at the presidential compound in Camp David, Maryland. He broke off the talks on Saturday after the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul last week that killed an American soldier and 11 others.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, criticized Trump for calling off the dialogue and said U.S. forces have been pounding Afghanistan with attacks at the same time.
“This will lead to more losses to the U.S.,” he said. “Its credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase.”
In Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Afghan peace talks were on hold and Washington would not reduce U.S. military support for Afghan troops until it was convinced the Taliban could follow through on significant commitments.
The United States has recalled U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad to chart the path forward, Pompeo said in appearances on Sunday TV news shows. Asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether Afghan talks were dead, Pompeo said, “For the time being they are.”
My guess is somebody told Trump that having the Taliban over to Camp David on the week of September 11 probably wouldn't play well with, well, 99% of America, so Trump "bravely" canceled the talks. Unlike Kim Jong Un, the Taliban don't have the diplomatic cover of statehood.
The story of how the peace deal fell apart this week though is pure Trumpian meltdown.
Mr. Trump made no decision on the spot, but at some point during the meeting the idea was floated to finalize the negotiations in Washington, a prospect that appealed to the president’s penchant for dramatic spectacle. Mr. Trump suggested that he would even invite President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, whose government has not been party to the talks, and get him to sign on.
In the days that followed, Mr. Trump embraced an even more remarkable idea — he would not only bring the Taliban to Washington, but to Camp David, the crown jewel of the American presidency. The leaders of a rugged militant organization deemed terrorists by the United States would be hosted in the mountain getaway used for presidents, prime ministers and kings just three days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that led to the Afghan war.
Thus began an extraordinary few days of ad hoc diplomatic wrangling that upended the talks in a weekend Twitter storm. On display were all of the characteristic traits of the Trump presidency — the yearning ambition for the grand prize, the endless quest to achieve what no other president has achieved, the willingness to defy convention, the volatile mood swings and the tribal infighting.
What would have been one of the biggest headline-grabbing moments of his tenure was put together on the spur of the moment and then canceled on the spur of the moment. The usual National Security Council process was dispensed with; only a small circle of advisers was even clued in.
Trump thought he was better than he was and the result, once again, is an America that looks foolish and stupid. His narcissism blinded him to reality, and the result is, as every other American ally and foe has learned at various stages of peril, that Donald Trump and the United States of America cannot be trusted under any circumstances.
Even if Trump, Pence, and the entire GOP Senate left tomorrow, it would still take the rest of my lifetime before anyone considered America to be anything more than a giant, flatulent joke.
I expect diplomacy for the next several decades will be the EU, China, India, and the UN "containing the only nation-state that has used nuclear weapons in anger" and preventing us from doing anything as harmful again.
We're not a global leader, we're a global cancer. And all this happened in a space of 32 months.