Georgetown professor: Afghanistan withdrawal has encouraged diplomacy in Middle East

Georgetown professor Trita Parsi told Hill.TV that the recent drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has compelled some countries in the region to prioritize diplomacy.

“The almost unquestionable idea in Washington is that we are there because we create calm and stability, and if we leave chaos invariably will ensue. And we’re now seeing quite a lot of evidence to the contrary,” Parsi, executive vice president at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft,  said on Hill.TV’s “Rising.”

Two days before U.S. troops left Afghanistan in late August, Iraq hosted a regional security summit with Saudi and Iranian officials in attendance as part of efforts to ease regional tensions.

President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE applauded the Iraqi government on the summit, later calling the meeting an “important symbol of Iraq’s contributions to regional stability and interfaith tolerance" while at the UN General Assembly.

Parsi said diplomatic activity had been unattractive to states, as it would have led to “costly compromises” rather than leveraging the U.S. presence.

But “the option of hiding behind American military power no longer exists,” he said.

Parsi said the dialogue represents a breakthrough, but it remains unclear where the talks will lead.

He said current discussions heavily focus on the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen’s civil war, and the groups will also have to address use of non-state actors that are working against each other if they hope to achieve long-term stability.

“Now comes the harder part of making sure that there are changes on the substance,” Parsi said.