The Dispatch: Experts and ex-Afghan government officials agree. “The moment the United States opened talks with the Taliban, it telegraphed to the average Afghan villager that we are about to leave your country and abandon it, and the guys who are going to be in charge are the ones we are talking to,” Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. and current director for South & Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, told The Dispatch. “That had a psychological effect that nobody had anticipated.” “The very act of negotiating with the Taliban signaled to the people of Afghanistan, as well as people within the Afghan government, that the United States was reconciled to a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in the future,” Haqqani added. “People could not understand why the withdrawal had to be negotiated with the Taliban. After all, the U.S. government also withdrew from Iraq, and that withdrawal was negotiated with the Iraqi government, not with ISIS.” Click here to read more (external link).