(Asia News): On September 7, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly called off his government’s talks with the Taliban—even though the two sides were on the cusp of a U.S. troop withdrawal deal. With talks off (for now), the Trump administration has vowed to intensify its fight against the Taliban, with the hope that increasing battlefield pressure will compel the insurgents to come back to the negotiating table and make concessions—leading to a new deal with better terms for the United States. The problem is that this strategy has been attempted many times before. And it has never succeeded. Trump’s stated reason for calling off talks, cited in a series of tweets announcing his decision, was that the Taliban had staged a deadly attack that killed multiple people, including a U.S. soldier. This likely isn’t the real reason, however. The Taliban has staged attacks—including those that have killed American soldiers—for the entire nearly one-year period that talks had been taking place. The real reason likely had more to do with increasing concern in Washington—and Kabul—about an emerging U.S.-Taliban deal that was heavily weighted against the U.S. and Afghan governments. This is in great part because the accord did not commit the Taliban to a ceasefire or to launch direct talks with Kabul, which was sidelined from the U.S.-Taliban talks.