Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Taliban in Afghanistan, Back to Future.

This is quite bizarre.  In 2001, when the US attacked Afghanistan "to find Osama bin Laden and other high-ranking Al-Qaeda members to be put on trial, to destroy the organization of Al-Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban regime which supported and gave safe harbor to it," few probably imagined that the outcome of the war would be for the Taliban to be in the government of Afghanistan.  And yet, that is what is apparently happening, according to this article, which says that Karzai is in talks with the Taliban over a negotiated end to the war.  

I would lie if I said I can envision a different end to the war.  But God, how dispiriting:  after all these years of fighting, how is one to feel about the fact that Taliban might be back in power in Afghanistan?  And not because we failed to stop them from doing so by force but rather because they negotiated some sort of a deal?  And how does the "surge" factor into this?  What about the counter-insurgency strategy?  The administration will have a lot of explaining to do.  

More importantly, if a negotiated settlement with our original enemy ("we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them") is indeed the ultimate solution, can we all please stop for a moment and agree on the obvious conclusion to leads to with regards to American military intervention in foreign lands?  Please?

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