Small Wars Journal

Afghan President Sets Aside Peace Bids, Vows Harsher Fight Against Taliban

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 10:21am

Afghan President Sets Aside Peace Bids, Vows Harsher Fight Against Taliban by Tim Craig and Sayed Salahuddin, Washington Post

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stepped back Monday from attempts to engage Taliban insurgents in peace talks, vowing that Afghanistan will instead “execute” enemies of the state and undertake preparations for an extended war.

In a speech that signaled a significant shift in policies, Ghani left open the prospect for dialogue with Taliban fighters who put down their weapons. But Ghani deemed the broader Taliban organization and its Pakistan-based offshoot, the Haqqani network, “terrorists” and promised expanded attacks by the Afghan military.

Ghani’s remarks are a setback for the Obama administration’s hopes that the 14-year Taliban insurgency could be ended through a negotiated settlement. Back-channel discussions have been held for the past three years to try to establish a framework for such talks…

Read on.


Madhu (not verified)

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 10:39am


Does this explain this curious article?

<blockquote>The former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, says one of the biggest problems facing Afghanistan continues to be its poor relationship with its neighbor, Pakistan.
Khalilzad told VOA in an interview Friday that "the two countries need each other and they should cooperate." He said the United States did not succeed in bringing Afghanistan and Pakistan together after 9/11 and "we have not succeeded still."</blockquote>…

That's because Vali Nasr, the standard old British and NATO line (both are changing a bit due to changing internal circumstances) and the Washington Consensus view that the main problem is Pakistani insecurity regarding India is wrong.

Negotiations were never going to work in terms of a grand bargain because insecurity is not the issue and there are powerful outside patrons besides the U.S., including China. And who knows what power the Chinese really have or if they even have an internal consensus or if they don't always mind disorder.

Also, who knows what the Saudis are up to in all of this, really. As long as there is disorder, they get a sense of Iran being isolated regionally.

Both the American right/progressives and left failed to get this one right but I don't see the progressives reevaluating its advice to negotiate with the Taliban or Pakistan and I don't see the right thinking about anything other than reflexive militarism.

Did we attempt to sanction any individuals (individuals, not nations, things like delaying visas, etc.) responsible? Didn't one of Hillary Clinton's old advisors suggest that in an email but she never replied?

And who knows how many think tankers and PhDs working so very hard on their position term papers.

Disorder retains clients, sells weapons, keeps the DC consensus in work.

But really, the non-interventionists and American progressives should take a look at how they were coopted by certain narratives. Drones do not explain the whole story and never have.