Home > Uncategorized > Tea with the Taliban

Tea with the Taliban

Cartoon from The Economist

This week, both Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Gen. David Petraeus spoke about the possibility of negotiating a political deal with Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. After fighting the Taliban for nine years we have been unable to vanquish the threat they pose to a peaceful Afghan society. What about the other threat to Afghan democracy–American support of the illegitimate Karzai’s presidency? There should be less focus on democracy on Afghanistan, which has brought Karzai, an illegitimate leader to power. Instead, there should be a focus on the development of a government able to provide security and basic services to the Afghan people.

It seems contradictory that we invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to rid the country of the repressive rule of the Taliban, but now are considering negotiations which could allow Taliban leaders to regain political power. The current operating strategy in Afghanistan shows no signs of creating the minimum, necessary level of security necessary for the exit of NATO troops. Opening a dialogue with the Taliban about the possibility of reconciliation is, at the least, a real attempt at moving forward. Fortunately, the Taliban is not a large homogeneous group. It is made up of dissenting factions, some fighting for global jihad and others for a paycheck.

Pres. Karazi has created a plan which would offer jobs to Taliban foot soldiers in exchange for renouncing violence and becoming a productive part of the country’s political fabric. The plan focuses on the reintegration of Taliban fighters into mainstream society and reconciliation with the Taliban. Although the plan seems to have merit, it is tainted coming from the hands of Pres. Karzai.

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