That is the single most important takeaway from Trump’s speech on Afghanistan policy tonight. The run-down of the US State Dept under Trump has made this possibly momentous decision possible. That and the dominance of military men in the Trump decision-making process.
Pakistan’s ambivalence toward the Taliban has always been governed by a fear that otherwise India would meddle in Afghanistan to Pakistan’s disadvantage. Trump has now sided against – some might say humiliated – Pakistan, which facilitates US military operations in Afghanistan, and boosted India’s ambitions in the region.
It could be a recipe for disaster. Both India and Pakistan are nuclear nations, have a history of conflict and friction dating back to partition in 1947 and now Trump has stirred that very dangerous pot.