The utter incompetence of the US diplomatic effort led by Zalmay Khalilzad has 2 new American deaths on its hands as the first of the new decade. Jezail.org has long pointed out that the delegation of so-called Taliban in Doha who are in some kind of negotiation with Khalilzad do not represent the Taliban in the field and this is illustrated by the fact that every time some “progress” is announced, it is almost immediately followed by an attack. Even President Trump ordered a suspension of talks previously because of an attack following his announcement of talks. These events are the pattern, not the exception to the path of this negotiation. After this latest attack, Khalilzad ordered a “pause” to the talks. But a “Taliban” delegation spokesman, Suhail Shaheen made a statement that barely recognized that any attack took place. “We [the Taliban] hope that the delay will not be a long delay; efforts are underway to sort it out.” It was as if no attack had even taken place. The two parties are clearly talking past each other.
Jezail.org has long maintained that the “Taliban” delegation that the US is negotiating with actually answer to Pakistan. Jezail.org has long pointed out that since the discovery that Taliban founding leader Mullah Omar had been dead for three years before the Pakistanis admitted this fact, many Taliban in the field have become estranged from their Pakistani benefactors. This schism is a reality that opens up opportunities for the US and the Kabul regime to begin to make peace arrangements more effectively at a local level. This is deliberately not being attempted. Jezail.org believes that Khalilzad and many in the US military, intelligence and diplomatic community know this very well but refuse to recognize this approach because it will wind down a war that they desperately cling to.
The article is pregnant with self serving comments by Pakistani and Taliban officials all positioning themselves and posturing to devour what is left of Afghanistan after a US withdrawal. The irony is that a key sticking point is not about the survival of the regime in Kabul which the US has spent lavishly to build. It is about the US remaining as a military force in Afghanistan for a variety of ostensible but not credible reasons. So the “talks” continue and nothing changes because no one is serious.
Two more American service people have died for this scheme. Welcome to the new decade.
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