Talking to the Taliban
by Charles Lemos, Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 11:26:08 AM EST
Via the New York Times:
President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.
Mr. Obama pointed to the success in peeling Iraqi insurgents away from more hard-core elements of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a strategy that many credit as much as the increase of American forces with turning the war around in the last two years. "There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region," he said, while cautioning that solutions in Afghanistan will be complicated.
Interesting. Moreso because for over a week Al Jazeera has been reporting that there were secret talks underway in Afghanistan aimed at reaching an entente with some elements of the Taliban.
As the Afghan Foreign Minister met his US counterpart in Washington in late February, Al Jazeera has learnt of secret talks between Taliban-linked mediators and Afghan officials, which could lead to wider negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The deal involves the return to Afghanistan of Gulbbaldin Hekmatyar, the former Prime Minister, whose forces fight alongside the Taliban. The negogiations involve a complex and delicate round of meetings from the heart of Afghanistan to Dubai, London and Saudi Arabia. From Kabul, James Bays filed the above exclusive report.
More at By The Fault.