By lex, on September 12th, 2011
Lacking a coherent plan to stop the bloodshed in Afghanistan, the US Government has decided to accommodate the irreconcilables, according to the Daily Mail:
Talks to end the 10-year war in Afghanistan could be on the horizon after the U.S. backed a plan to let the Taliban open political headquarters in the Middle East.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is likely to open a base in Qatar before Christmas, The Times said.
It is hoped this will help facilitate peace talks which could lead to a truce with the Taliban.
Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is understood to be backing the negotiations.
When the HQ is opened in the Qatari capital Doha, it will be the first time the Islamist group has been treated like a political party since it fell from power in 2001.
The Times said the Taliban wants to make sure its members are free from harassment and arrest whilst based in the city.
Well, as long as Mullah Omar is on board, and the Taliban is free from harassment. That’s what matters most.
The news broke yesterday, when the nation’s interest was elsewhere focused. Which I’m sure was a coincidence.
I also suppose, that having spent the last ten years doing the war-war thing, it’s at least worth a try to get the Taliban to the jaw-jaw table. They are composed more of Pashtun tribalists than hard core international jihadis, the distinction being that they only want to be left in peace to murder their own people in God’s name. And it’s a grand notion to host the “consulate” in Qatar, relatively far from the influence of the Pakistani ISI. In theory.
The Taliban sounded a hopeful note yesterday to go with their new-found political legitimacy by exploding a car bomb on a US base that injured nearly 80 soldiers.
Still, it’s hard to see how anything good comes of this. Or anything else for that matter, in that godforsaken hole in the map.
Although an alternative does come to mind.