1/24/20 – This article in the Long War Journal exposes what jezail.org has been reporting for years. Now the Taliban admit it. The Taliban delegation in Doha is not remotely serious about negotiating for peace. When the US leaves Afghanistan, there will be no peace. Moreover, there will never be a Taliban delegation that will be prepared to “make a deal” or make compromises to find peace. They couldn’t if they wanted to. Fighting in Afghanistan is for multiple reasons and objectives while the US never had a prayer of sorting it out. the Taliban are locked in a trap of their own. This delegation from the Taliban is in no position to make any sort of agreement because they are an instrument of Pakistani foreign policy. Now, it seems, the Taliban have confirmed this. So as we have pointed out before, the Doha “peace talks” are theater. All they do is keep Zalmay Khalilzad employed and waste American lives, loads of Afghan lives and heaps of American money.
The Taliban use the Doha charade to get small gains on the field. If they decide to agree to a ceasefire, it is likely because they need some time to resupply without being interdicted by US air power. But that’s about it. Doha is useful for that as well as prisoner swaps and “gestures of good will” from the American side. It is a joke. But they don’t make any concessions other than a few hollow words so that Khalilzad can amplify them into something that they are not. This has been the history of the Doha process. It started as a prisoner swap. But It was amplified by US officials, particularly Khalilzad, looking for some positive headlines. So they amped up a prisoner swap into “peace talks”. The Taliban delegation has been exploiting it ever since. That keeps Khalilzad in a forever job. That keeps the Taliban collecting funds from Pakistan through the US. That keeps Pakistan on the US “secret” payroll. Everybody’s happy. It always was a racket and it still is.
Unfortunately for the parasitic entities that have prospered from this, times have changed. The Afghan War has been, for the US, a hand that has been over played. Regional partners are evaporating. Other big players are becoming impatient. The Chinese OBOR initiative is blooming. The Saudis are widely believed to be in negotiation with Iran. Tectonic plates of history are shifting. The American diplomatic position has been to make false promises to virtually every player in the region making for very tenuous relations indeed. US diplomats have no credibility anywhere. All players in the region are also aware that America no longer has the deep pockets it once did and cannot indulge in multiple wars or a major war without inviting disaster.
A curious contradiction: the Russian military has, in Syria, given a glimpse of a more rational deployment that starkly contrasts the bloated contracting and slog approach to war that US military and political leadership is addicted to. The Russians came to Syria, sorted out the situation, made real partnerships in the region and joined a real coalition to defeat ISIL. They did that. They won. Then, they did something remarkable. They went home. Jezail.org does not mean to advocate that the US follow the force projection part of the Russian action. What we do wish to point is that the Russians know, from their experience in Afghanistan, if you want to get out of a war, you go home. They learned that in Afghanistan. Ask Gen. Gromov. Ask any Soviet veteran of Afghanistan. You just get out. GTFO (Get the Fxck Out) That is an action, not a mouthful of empty words, press releases or fake negotiations.
What makes this situation even more vexing is that, from the standpoint of “fighting terrorism” there are options. We will be writing about that in the future. Keep up with us:
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.