Monday, January 25, 2010

US commander signals peace talks with Taliban.

I think this is long overdue:

Nato's top commander in Afghanistan has said increased troop levels could bring a negotiated peace with the Taliban. US Gen Stanley McChrystal told the UK's Financial Times newspaper that there had been "enough fighting". He said a political solution in all conflicts was "inevitable". His remarks came as the top UN envoy in Kabul said it was time to talk to the militants.
Bush and Blair invaded Afghanistan in order to deal a blow to al Qaeda. When it became obvious that bin Laden was not going to be easy to capture they suddenly morphed the Taliban and al Qaeda into the same thing, so that success against the Taliban appeared to be success in the war on terror.

This was always a sleight of hand. And it appears as if McChrystal is saying enough is enough.

The Taliban wanted to create the perception that Afghanistan was on fire, and that President Karzai and his Western allies could not cope, Gen McChrystal said.

However, if the new US-led strategy was successful, the militants "could look desperate" in a year's time, he said.

"I think they will look like an entity that will be struggling for its own legitimacy... I think they will be on the defensive militarily, not wiped out."

On the issue of reconciliation, Gen McChrystal said: "I believe that a political solution to all conflicts is the inevitable outcome. And it's the right outcome."

Asked if he thought senior Taliban could have a role in a future Afghan government, he said: "I think any Afghans can play a role if they focus on the future, and not the past.

"As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there's been enough fighting," Gen McChrystal added.

If they have not been defeated militarily after nearly nine years, then it's safe to assume it's time to try a new approach.

Click here for full article.

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