The Trump Administration's Policies in Afghanistan and Africa


The foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He's a senior fellow keeps the Long word journal with Tom Johnson and his colleagues. We go immediately to Afghanistan because here during the Republican convention We want to explicate what we can of the Republican intention if it is successful, winning a second term for President Trump and then to remark upon thee. Trump administration's policies in Africa, particularly when it comes to the kind of length organization Al Shabaab on the attack. Billa Very good evening to Afghanistan, you and Tom for many weeks and months now. Have illustrated that the trump policy from the first term was to make a deal with the Taliban and withdraw as much of the American presidents as possible. And hope for the best. I do not expect the Republicans toe have another direction is your sense bill that the military is quit with Afghanistan? As much as the political apparatus is quit, are there of two minds here? Good evening to you, Bill. Good evening, John. Yes. So I agree with you. The Trump Administration is not going to change policy in Afghanistan, Um, barring some type of major events. Um, it's it's just both sides of the aisle are pushing the end The endless wars narrative, which, of course is ridiculous, because the jihadists have a say, and they're going to keep fighting when we leave, of course. We could. You could say something like we wantto end our involvement in these wars. Fine, But the wars will continue our enemies get a vote, and they're nowhere near tired of fighting. The U. S. First the U. S military goes for Afghanistan. Give US military as a whole. Once out of Afghanistan, it's been a drain on their resource is on their energy. Um, I don't. I think they don't see an end. There. They feel again. I'm not speaking for the entire military. And this was the sense I get from millet, you know, from top military leaders. Who have basically signed on signed off on this policy. There's been no objection publicly to this policy of, uh, negotiating with the Taliban and cutting a deal with them, even though they support Al Qaeda. In the meantime, the Taliban and there is Taliban Afghanistan. In several iterations, there's Taliban, Pakistan and several generations the Taliban is preparing for Nearly triumph, but rule I follow from your posting at long word general that Tariq eat Taliban. Pakistan is congratulating the Muslim UMA in general and the Mujahideen in particular on the merger of the two main groups of jihad in Pakistan. Can we regard this as a temporary merger because and they'll be back to fighting over cities or is there some collective push now for the Pakistan, Taliban and the Afghanistan Taliban to work together? So I think there's a push for the Pakistani Taliban in the Afghan Taliban already work close together, Um they Pakistani Taliban fighters have refocused their efforts to Afghanistan. After Pakistani military operations against them. Remember the Pakistanis play a double game? You're You're a good jihadist If you fight in Afghanistan are cashmere, but you're bad jihadists in the fight against the Pakistani state. So this merger that came up really? I found a little surprising because I could point back to a statement in 2015, where the one of the two groups of it's called One of them's Hezbollah, Har. Um, you know, so it had announced that it already merged with the movement of the calibre, or should I say there were ties broken during the turmoil back in 14 4015 with Mullah Omar staffed and when Melissa was alone took over the Pakistani Taliban. Ah, lot of inside baseball, but I won't go into but they had already announced that they had reunited, so something has happened here. Within the last five years. I think this is really sort of There was probably some kind of personality dispute, and I think a lot of this is for propaganda anyway. Really, to just say, hey, look, we're all unified. We're all going to, you know, operate under the same command when I think essentially they were doing the same thing. I go to Africa because you are a U is a long word General have resource is to cover the story of Al Shabaab. We spoke recently of their surprisingly professional looking videos of their recruiting on their training. Now we have a report from long word general of Al Shabaab on the attack hotel military base suicide assault, reminding me that this is a very sophisticated outfit trained with Al Qaeda, Sze Ah complex attacks as Al Shabaab growing and strength to your measure, it does the next Trump administration need to pour more resource is or get out as well. Yes. Oh, Africa has always been fascinating, particularly Somalia. I think some outside of the Taliban Shabbab is the most effective jihadist insurgency in the world. They have They continually take the fight to the rump some Somali government they control 25% of the country despite the fact that you have the African Union and the US and what they could piece together the Somali military and police. To oppose them, and they're there have very good propaganda. As you noted, It's improved a lot over the years and there are very effective at conducting their attacks and keeping their their fighters. Trained and keeping them in the rank and file. Remember, there's been an attempt by the Islamic state to poach from Shabaab, but it's been largely unsuccessful. Not only did they have they conducted major attacks on military bases and hotels, yet another town this one outside of the town of Baidoa, which eyes in sorry the city. If I go, it's probably the second largest city in southern Somalia. Um they took over the town after the Somali military withdrew in the Somali military withdrew from that town because Shabaab was besieging it, so I think Um, I always reluctant to say they're growing in strength. Thes groups have sort of There's an Evan flow to the fighting, and sometimes particularly went outside groups. When the African Union and the US start piling on them. They have some issues, but they're able to await it out. That's the one thing these John, one of the several things that they have. To their advantage. They have the time. You know, that old saying goes, we have all the clocks, but they have all the time While they're very patient in their fight. They're very patient in their jihad. While we have men may have sophisticated military equipment, that's the clocks. They have the time and patients in the will to fight these battles, not enough terms of the US election cycles but in terms of decades Built in general. Now we're at the crossroads for another administration, either, Mr Trump second. Mr Biden's first. Is there any indication pattern worldwide that Al Qaeda is waiting for that decision, or are they staying on the offensive? Matt, no matter who wins. Yeah, I think there are on the offensive. No matter who wins. They do follow the political situation here, but I think they've come to the conclusion that this is just my opinion here. But I think they've come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter again that end the endless wars narrative and and the actions by the U. S government over two successive administrations. Policies of withdrawn, scaled down and whatnot would look to us is withdrawing troops from Iraq. It just closed that the major based ontology or at least US personnel being at that base. Almost 2000 troops are coming out of there. Um, they see this all and nature there taking it all in, and they realized that the end of our fight in administration is not going to counter act. These measures. Bill Rocha

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