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Editorial: Bolton’s explosive book

Although there were claims and reports in the past that the US President Donald Trump was hell-bent on extricating from the Afghan quagmire, a recent explosive and newly-released book by his former national security advisor John Bolton only substantiates them. The bombshell book, “The Room Where It Happened,” has revealed what Trump has said about Afghanistan in meetings with his administration’s officials. It has already created uproar among the US political elite, by revealing some juicy details about the internal faulty functioning of the Trump administration. Bolton writes that Trump opposed a continuing US military presence in Afghanistan because he had campaigned to “end the endless wars” in faraway places. The tell-all book portrays Trump’s frustration with the war in Afghanistan as he, at times, called it a ‘horror show’ in meetings with officials, as well as admitting that Americans were getting their “asses kicked” in the country. The book has been released at a time when the peace process has made progress, and the intra-Afghan talks seem to be just around the corner. It’s now without a doubt that Trump was impatient and desperate from day one of holding the office to get out of Afghanistan. But the fact that he wanted to achieve that end through whatever means possible made the matters complex. Meanwhile, Trump’s long-held stance, and now the book, indicates that Trump wanted to get out of Afghanistan in a way that was good for his reelection and thus he didn’t care about anything else at all. But fortunately for him, the peace process served as a fig leaf for honoring his promise of bringing back US soldiers and paving the ground for his reelection. On the other hand, as expected, Trump dubs the book as a compilation of lies and pure fiction. Although the book has created a lot of hype going around, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the fate of a whole country, Afghanistan, is one the line. The revelation of Trump’s Afghanistan policy dynamics in such details and the happenings that led to the US-Taliban peace pact paints a condescending picture of Afghanistan in Trump’s eyes. All of it summarizes in the fact that Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan wasn’t for the purpose of peace in Afghanistan in the first place. Meanwhile, the timing of the book is also worrisome because the Taliban are further being legitimized and aggrandized as they are gradually led to believe that they won and that’s why the US is leaving. Therefore, considering the circumstances, the Afghans should realize that no foreign force can bring peace in Afghanistan. Every step they take is for their own interests. Moreover, the apprehensions regarding the new government in the US most likely to retreat from Doha agreement should be averted by coming together and finding an Afghan-devised solution to the Afghan war before the US election. That goal could only be achieved through intra-Afghan talks’ earliest launch and nothing else.

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