The views expressed in any article published in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Joseph Foster or Bob Lupoli.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Taliban - Let's Talk Peace! - Really?

Joe: the Afghanistan situation has lasted longer than WWII & Vietnam combined and apparently it is winding down. As the US and NATO pull out who will take over? Probably the Taliban! See articles below, note also that we are considering the release of Taliban prisoners in Guatanamo Bay in order to build rapport and incentivize the so called “peace talks”. -Bob

Taliban "poised to retake Afghanistan" after NATO
KABUL | Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:51am EST

(Reuters) - The U.S. military said in a secret report that the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw, raising the prospect of a major failure of Western policy after a costly war.

Taliban Will Control Afghanistan With Support From Pakistan, Says Leaked Report
By Hamid Shalizi and Mirwais Harooni

KABUL, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. military said in a secret report the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw from the country, raising the prospect of a major failure of western policy after a costly war.

Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, confirmed the existence of the document, reported by Britain's Times newspaper and the BBC. But he said it was not a strategic study.

"The classified document in question is a compilation of Taliban detainee opinions," he said. "It's not an analysis, nor is it meant to be considered an analysis." Nevertheless, it could be interpreted as a damning assessment of the war, now dragging into its eleventh year and aimed at blocking a Taliban return to power.

It could also be seen as an admission of defeat and could reinforce the view of Taliban hardliners that they should not negotiate with the United States and President Hamid Karzai's unpopular government while in a position of strength. The U.S. military said in the document Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) security agency was assisting the Taliban in directing attacks against foreign forces.

The allegation drew a strong response from Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit. "This is frivolous, to put it mildly," he told Reuters. "We are committed to non-interference in Afghanistan." The Times said the "highly classified" report was put together by the U.S. military at Bagram air base in Afghanistan for top NATO officers last month.

Large swathes of Afghanistan have been handed back to Afghan security forces, with the last foreign combat troops due to leave by the end of 2014. But many Afghans doubt their security forces will be able to take firm control of one of the world's most volatile countries once foreign combat troops leave.---

Taliban Prisoners: Guantanamo Bay Detainees May Be Released
WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence officials acknowledged Tuesday that the United States may release several Afghan Taliban prisoners from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an incentive to bring the Taliban to peace talks.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials told The Associated Press that a plan to give Afghanistan a form of legal custody over the men if they are released satisfied their earlier objection to sending the prisoners to a third country.

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