A secret U.S. program has released an undisclosed number of terrorists over the past several years from a military prison in Afghanistan, but not to worry. They were only released if they promised to give up violence.

What a relief.

Unfortunately though, this has been done before. Prisoners promised to stop their violence as a condition for release from Guantanamo Bay. It didn’t work.

But the Obama Administration decided to try again. In order to end the war by the predetermined deadline, Obama imposed a deadline removing all U.S. combat troops by 2014; the releases were practically necessary. Imposing arbitrary deadlines means that sacrifices to U.S. national security and the safety of U.S. troops currently fighting are completely justifiable.

With a goal “to quell violence…particularly as troops continue to withdraw,” the program seeks to allow for the opening of diplomatic channels between us and the terrorists in order to make the war fit Obama’s artificial timetable.

One official remarked to the Washington Post (on the condition of anonymity) that:

Everyone agrees they are guilty of what they have done and should remain in detention. Everyone agrees that these are bad guys. But the benefits outweigh the risks.

Releasing guilty terrorists with the hope that the Taliban might like us more is granting the group legitimacy and caving in to their tactics. No “benefit” can be derived from attempting diplomacy and negotiations with terrorist organizations. The only result possible from this secret program is that the American military and people are more at risk.

This is another example of Obama’s deadline causing danger to troops.

More areas are being handed over completely to the Afghan security forces as the deadline looms. So far, their performance has been less than inspiring. “Green on blue” shootings, when the Afghan forces kill NATO troops, have risen dramatically. And this is based on underestimates provided by NATO.

With political instability growing by the day, the situation will only get worse. President Karzai remains unpopular and the next election happens to be the same year as the deadline for troop withdrawal. Instability allows for extreme groups, like Al-Qaeda, to expand. No one can know what will happen in Afghanistan over the coming years, but instability will not stop because it’s inconvenient for Obama.

We cannot afford to lose the war in Afghanistan. American security should not be trivialized by petty politics. The stakes are too high for the Commander-in-Chief to continue jeopardizing our troops and our mission.

Mallory Carr | Georgetown University | @MalloryCarr