Yesterday’s eighth round of talks between the Taliban and the United States “ended early Monday without any sign a peace deal had been reached for Afghanistan, as both sides said they would consult with their leaderships on the next steps” according to the Associated Press. Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney expressed her concern regarding the talks and told Fox News in a statement, the “American public should have full transparency regarding the details of any accord and the potential pact must include a definitive rejection of Al Qaeda.”

In the talks, the United States is demanding guarantees that the Taliban would guarantee Afghanistan would not revert to being a “launch pad for global terrorist attacks” in exchange for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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Senior fellow at National Review Institute and contributing editor Andrew McCarthy wrote a piece published over the weekend calling talks “a crock.” McCarthy wrote “there are no real assurances. The Taliban and its allies are committed terrorist enemies, not willing anti-terrorist partners.” Most frighteningly he claimed “the United States of America, the world’s lone superpower, is about to lose a war to the Taliban.” He contends

The Taliban will soon be ruling Afghanistan again…while we were fixated on Isis, al-Qaeda became stronger, more resilient, and more battle-hardened. When the Taliban retakes control, al-Qaeda will be right back in business. Lest we forget, its business is killing Americans.

Despite U.S. pressing for a cease-fire and months of negotiations, the Taliban has carried out terror attacks almost daily across Afghanistan. Another indication that McCarthy’s somber outlook may be the appropriate one, the Taliban is sidelining the Afghan government, which has an election schedule for September 28th, dismissing it “as a U.S. puppet.”

In the nearly 18-year war with the Taliban, “America’s longest,” optimism for an agreement may be misplaced. As the AP reports, “The Taliban are at their strongest since the U.S.-led invasion toppled their five-year government in 2001 after the group had harbored al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.”