Pompeo Argues US War in Afghanistan Was ‘Successful’

Says 19 year conflict was 'a real achievement'

While the Trump Administration has yet to officially sign the peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, the clearest sign yet that they’ll do so came in a new interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

While US officials have often been unrealistically rosy-eyed about the state of the war, Pompeo took the talking points to a new level, and now is arguing effectively that the US has won the war in Afghanistan, and “delivered” on all of its goals.

The US has repeatedly redefined what the war’s goal actually was, both because stabilizing Afghanistan never really happened, and because officials wanted a metric that wouldn’t show a loss. Pompeo, however, argued that al-Qaeda is defeated and a “shadow of its former self in Afghanistan.”

Pompeo said this was a “real achievement,” and that the 19 years of war had “greatly reduced the risk that an attack on the United States of America would emanate from Afghan soil.” The deal with the Taliban has as one of its centerpieces a Taliban promise to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of Afghanistan.

Selling this not just as the best the US is going to get but a virtual victory is likely to be the administration’s talking point if they intend to advance toward finalizing the peace deal. Pompeo’s comments seem to be a first step toward exactly that.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.