(WASHINGTON) — The latest controversy surrounding the Taliban headquarters in Doha, Qatar, should prove to the U.S. that there’s no longer any point in remaining in Afghanistan, according to former Congressman Ron Paul.
In his weekly column, the Texas Republican, who has always been highly critical of America’s military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, claims that the Taliban has essentially established “a government in exile” by setting up the Qatar headquarters, much to the chagrin of Washington and Kabul.
Paul says he’s heard the argument for years that if the U.S. were to suddenly withdraw from Afghanistan, the Taliban would return to the country it ruled from 1996-2001.
He writes, “Guess what, after 12 years, trillions of dollars, more than 2,200 Americans killed, and perhaps more than 50,000 dead Afghan civilians and fighters, the Taliban is coming back anyway!”
Claiming that this is a repeat of the Iraq war, Paul contends, “Afghanistan is a devastated country with a weak, puppet government — and now we negotiate with those very people we fought for those 12 years, who are preparing to return to power! Still we learn nothing.”
Paul, who ran for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination on a platform of disassociating the U.S. from international conflicts, alleges that President Obama is now making the same mistake in Syria by offering to arm rebels there.
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Barbie Latza Nadeau, Livia Borghese and Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Chandrika Narayan and Steve Almasy, CNN