The Trump administration has been "absolutely wrong" in its negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Monday in an interview with CNN.
Appearing on CNN International's "Amanpour," McMaster was asked by host Christiane Amanpour about the White House's talks with the Taliban as the administration seeks to finally get troops out of the the country.
She asked whether McMaster believes "to fulfill a promise to pull all American forces from overseas that cozying up to the Taliban is a national security sensible thing for the United States to do right now."
"I think that the Trump administration policy has been absolutely wrong since the negotiations began with the Taliban," McMaster replied.
"What I think is paradoxical about this, regrettable about it, is the Trump administration has replicated almost precisely the fundamental flaws in the Obama administration approach to Afghanistan," he said, "and that is this flawed assumption, this belief, that there’s this bold line between the Taliban and al-Qaida."
There is a tendency, he said, toward "strategic narcissism — defining the world as we would like it to be and then assuming what we do is decisive to the outcome, and in this case, creating the enemy we would prefer."
McMaster called power-sharing with the Taliban "a disaster," asking what does such an approach even look like.
"Is that mass executions in the soccer stadium every other Saturday? Is that every other girls’ school bulldozed?" he said. "So I'm very concerned that this negotiation process made too many concessions."
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