Republican Lawmakers Warn Trump Of Deal With Taliban

( –  The war in Afghanistan is the longest on record for the United States, and President Donald Trump wants to end it.

And while he has been working for a while now on bringing home American armed forces from the country, some Republican lawmakers are not happy with his plans to apparently strike a peace accord with the Taliban.

This week, a group of Republican congress members sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as Secretary of Defense Mark Esper expressing “serious concerns” about a rumored peace deal with the Taliban. The group that signed the letter urge that the Taliban can’t be trusted with upholding their end of the bargain.

These lawmakers want the Trump Administration to assure them they “will not place the security of the American people into the hands of the Taliban.”

The group further wrote that:

“We have serious concerns about reports that the United States is preparing to sign a deal with the Taliban, the terrorists who harbored al-Qaeda before and after the attacks of 9/11. Trump has a proven track record of putting America’s security first and ensuring our country stays out of bad deals that aid our adversaries. In keeping with this policy, we are seeking assurances that you will not place the security of the American people into the hands of the Taliban, and undermine our ally, the current Government of Afghanistan.”

Among those who signed the letter are lawmakers who are normally 100% aligned with the Trump Administration, including Liz Cheney from Wyoming, Dan Crenshaw from Texas, Elise Stefanik from New York, Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, Jim Banks from Indiana and Mike Rogers from Alabama.

One of the group’s main concerns is that if the U.S. were to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan through a peace deal with the Taliban, it would be too easy for the Taliban to break their agreement and take over in the region once again. That could then lead to a build-up of terrorist activities and new cells, and an eventual control of the entire country.

The letter continues:

“The Taliban also has a history of extracting concessions in exchange for false assurances. They will accept nothing less than a full-scale U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as they seek to establish their totalitarian ‘Islamic Empire.’ Our withdrawal would then allow terrorist groups in Afghanistan to grow stronger and establish safe havens from which to plot attacks against us. Any promises the Taliban may have made to the U.S. related to counterterrorism cannot be trusted, not least because the group is a long-time ally of al-Qaeda.

“It is critical that any supposed counterterrorism assurances and potential verification mechanisms contained in the State Department-led agreement with the Taliban be made public. During the Obama administration, Secretary Pompeo rightfully fought for the disclosure of secret side deals with Iran. Now, some reports claim that key parts of the accord with the Taliban may be hidden in secret annexes. The safety of the American people is inextricably linked to this deal. They deserve to know its details.”

There have only been whispers to this point about a potential Trump deal with the Taliban, but it’s worth closely monitoring in the weeks ahead.