Pompeo Confirms US-Taliban Deal Has Secret Elements

Pompeo says secret, classified terms are 'fully transparent'

The US-Taliban peace deal in Afghanistan is a hopeful opportunity to end the US occupation of Afghanistan after 19 years. Persistent concerns, however, are that secret annexes to the deal could exist that would make the deal less palatable for the Taliban rank-and-file.

While Pentagon officials claimed to have no information on that, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed on Sunday that there are indeed two “classified” secret annexes to the deal, and that the American public won’t get to know what those are.

Pompeo didn’t give any indication what those annexes are, but sought to defend them in general terms, saying they were “fully transparent” secrets that Congress would get a chance to see. He contrasted that to secret annexes to the Iran nuclear deal, which he claimed the Americans in general never got to see.

The major concern is that one of the annexes would allow the US to keep ground troops in Afghanistan, a non-starter for most Taliban and which, if confirmed would probably spark more fighting. It’s possible the annexes don’t include that, and are something else. The fact that they are secret, and classified, however, suggests that both the US and Taliban leadership very much prefer the public not know about them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.