Bob Ayers said in an interview with Iranian Press TV on Thursday that it was easy for the Americans to start the war but it was “very difficult to get out, especially when you have not defined what constitutes your military objective.”
“The Americans seem to pursue the military intervention simply for the sake of military intervention. They have no political goal that’s clear,” he said.
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to topple a Taliban regime. Eighteen years on, America is seeking a truce with the group, which was unseated but has since been waging militancy.
Scott Rickard, a former American intelligence linguist and the other guest on the talk show on Press TV, attributed the length of the war in Afghanistan to the “tremendous” profits the war industry has earned as a result of it.
On Monday, the US special envoy to the talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Washington and the militants had reached an agreement to end the war in principle.
But the Afghan government, which has been deliberately left out of the talks all along, said it had serious doubts about the draft agreement.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has formerly said only Afghans are to decide their fate not outside powers. He has said peace is only possible with an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
‘The likely scenario’
Ayers ruled out the possibility of an enduring settlement without the involvement of the Afghan government.
Referring to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s refusal as of yet to approve the Afghan agreement until President Donald Trump approves it, Ayers said, “Popmeo is not sure what the president’s position is, and until the president signs the treaty, Pompeo is not going to stick his neck out.”
“The position of the American president is variable from day to day,” Ayers said, describing Trump as “not consistent.”
He said that the Taliban wanted “total, complete” governance of Afghanistan and that the militant group wouldn’t sign any deal until that demand was met.
However, an interim deal could be struck between the US and the Taliban that allows Washington to save face and withdraw its troops, Ayers said. “That’s probably the likely scenario.”
Speaking about the situation in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal, Rickard said, “One of the things that could happen is similar to maybe what happened in Iraq, where you have a local force like Iran who goes in and works with the local government and creates stability very much like Iran has done in Syria and Iraq.”
“We have seen the Americans do nothing but create chaos,” he said.