1 March 2019

Trump and the Taliban

Grens tussen Pakistan en Afghanistan © iStockphoto.com
Border between Pakistan and Afghanistan © iStockphoto.com

On 26 February, Niels Terpstra MA (International and Political History) gave his opinion in de Volkskrant about the American army in Afghanistan.

President Trump is planning to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. "Trump is frustrated with the lack of progress in America's endless war," Terpstra says. The war against the Taliban has been going on for eighteen years now, and the results are very poor. However, an accelerated withdrawal from the US military will make the situation worse than it already is.

Presidential election

It would be better if America stayed in Afghanistan until the upcoming presidential election. The moment a new president is elected, America could gradually withdraw from the area. "This would prevent a direct power vacuum, and moreover, the United States could place more weight in the negotiations with the Taliban," Terpstra concludes.

Niels Terpstra

Niels Terpstra MA
Niels Terpstra MA

Niels Terpstra is a historian, and also connected to Institutions for Open Societies - an interdisciplinary research area of Utrecht University focused on the development and expansion of healthy open societies everywhere.