Former US ambassador to Afghanistan calls US framework with Taliban 'a surrender negotiation'
Posted January 31, 2019 2:47 p.m. EST
CNN — Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker knocked the Trump administration for the framework agreement it announced with the Taliban that could open the door to ending the nearly 20-year long war.
Crocker, speaking on CNN's "Right Now" with Brianna Keilar, said the fact the US talks with the Taliban began without the involvement of the US-supported government of Afghanistan meant they were a "dangerous concession" to the Taliban.
"If this is a course we're going to continue on, this is very much is a surrender negotiation," Crocker said.
Crocker served as US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and several other nations.
He said he thought negotiations could get back on the right track if the US included the government of Afghanistan in the process, but without reaching favorable terms, he called for the US to keep its troops there indefinitely.
"In terms of US forces, maybe through these negotiations we can get to a place where our national security interests and our moral values as Americans can be advanced and protected by means other than our forces," Crocker said. "Unless or until that day comes, our forces are staying."
The US announced on Monday that it and the Taliban had agreed in principle on a framework to end the protracted conflict. Crocker authored an op-ed in The Washington Post in response to the news, warning that the US was delegitimizing the government of Afghanistan in this framework agreement.