The rough draft of an Afghanistan peace deal faintly traces the dark path that the United States followed when it left the Vietnam War.
In 1973, a “peace with honor” accord allowed North Vietnamese troops to stay in the south as U.S. forces withdrew. Hanoi agreed to a cease-fire and no takeover of the south by force. South Vietnam was frozen out of negotiations and reluctantly signed the agreement. “Sooner or later, the government will crumble,” South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu predicted. Saigon fell in 1975.
Nearly half a century later, American and Taliban negotiators have agreed in principle to a peace framework in which U.S. troops leave Afghanistan and the Taliban promise to never again allow terrorists to attack the United States from their territory as happened on Sept. 11, 2001.
In other parallels to the past, America is seeking a cease-fire and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been frozen out of the talks. Last year, he told 60 Minutes, “We will not be able to support our army for six months without U.S. support.”
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