Monday, July 27, 2009

Britain and US Prepared to Open Talks With the Taliban

Even though the Taliban has admitted that there no "moderate" Taliban members, President Obama has promised nonmilitary
solutions for Afghanistan
. Well here comes the talks in which we will end up giving up ground to the Taliban.

Hat tip to Weasel Zippers.

Britain and US prepared to open talks with the Taliban
Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, Tuesday 28 July 2009

A concerted effort to start unprecedented talks between Taliban and British and American envoys was outlined yesterday in a significant change in tactics designed to bring about a breakthrough in the attritional, eight-year conflict in Afghanistan.

Senior ministers and commanders on the ground believe they have created the right conditions to open up a dialogue with "second-tier" local leaders now the Taliban have been forced back in a swath of Helmand province.

They are hoping that Britain's continuing military presence in Helmand, strengthened by the arrival of thousands of US troops, will encourage Taliban commanders to end the insurgency. There is even talk in London and Washington of a military "exit strategy".

Speaking at the end of the five-week Operation Panther's Claw in which hundreds of British troops were reported to have cleared insurgents from a vital region of Helmand province, Lieutenant-General Simon Mayall, deputy chief of defence staff, said: "It gives the Taliban 'second tier' room to reconnect with the government and this is absolutely at the heart of this operation."

The second tier of the insurgency are regarded as crucial because they control large numbers of Taliban fighters in Pashtun-dominated southern Afghanistan. The first tier of Taliban commanders – hardliners around Mullah Omar – could not be expected to start talks in the foreseeable future. The third tier – footsoldiers with no strong commitments – are not regarded as influential or significant players.

Link to Article

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