Retired Adm. Bill McRaven, the Navy SEAL who oversaw the Bin Laden raid as head of Joint Special Operations Command, said earlier this week that “negotiation with the Taliban is like negotiating with ISIS.” He also determined that a negotiated peace may “not be possible.” Speaking at the New America Special Operations Forces Policy Forum, McRaven expressed his bleak outlook on peace with the Taliban.
“I never thought negotiations with the Taliban were the way to go…I’ve said on occasion negotiating with the Taliban is like negotiating with ISIS.” He admitted that the comparison may not be the best, “but, I do believe that if we negotiate some sort of settlement with the Taliban, that, you know, it won’t be six months or a year before all of the blood and treasure we have put into Afghanistan will have been reversed because the Taliban will come back in and do what the Taliban do.”
McRaven’s statements come just after President Trump considered meeting with the Taliban at Camp David just before the anniversary of 9/11. Trump’s decision led to contradictory positions, even inside the White House, which appears to be the reason for the firing of National Security Advisor John Bolton.
However, after the Taliban took credit for an attack on a US embassy in Kabul on the September 11th anniversary, Trump declared the talks “dead.” America’s longest war once again seems to have no end in sight. McRaven did admit “I’ve said we have to accept the fact – I think we do – that we’re going to be there for a very long time.”
He added, “Is it forever? I don’t think anything’s for forever. But does that mean that we will lose more young men and women? Does that mean we’re going to spend another billions of dollars? I think it does.”