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Speak with the Taliban

Stephen Hadley & John Podesta, Foreign Policy | January 20, 2012

The Afghanistan conflict is moving into a complex period and the US must make greater diplomatic efforts. ++ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described US strategy as "fight, talk, and build." ++ A bipartisan statement from US leaders must include all elements of society, including opposition groups, non-Taliban Pashtuns and ethnic minorities. ++ As part of a full diplomatic effort the US should engage in dialogue with the new Taliban office in Qatar. ++ But first the US must establish which leaders have authority to speak on behalf of the group.

 

 
Tags: | Qatar | Kabul | US | diplomacy | taliban | Afghanistan |
 
Comments
Talha Bin  Tariq

Mon, Jan 23rd 2012, 09:04

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I like this comment! What's this?
There is no use of having any debates between Taliban and USA ..
USA has given birth to Taliban to destroy RUSSIA ..
Its all pre-planned ...


Regards,
Talha Bin tariq
 
Susann  Offenmüller

Sun, Feb 19th 2012, 21:08

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I like this comment! What's this?
Whom to talk to without knowing who the Taliban really are? How to handle government officials whose election has been corrupt and manipulated? How to keep deterring someone while making offers for talking and "strategic partnerships"? How to even talk to an enemy that wants to doom the opposing fraction or at least get them out of their country with every means available?

Of course these are serious questions and they are far away from answered. However, the apparent advantages of the Taliban are also their greatest weakness and the crucial point where a dialogue can be introduced. Individuals considering themselves as "taliban" or fighting on their behalf are usually no fanatic psychopaths but actors with (rational) interests and believes. Talking to them at both the local and national level (so using their decentralization as an advantage) means getting useful information what we are actually dealing with. Far from "surrendering" by offering talks, we may have to live with the idea that those people have different attitudes than us, and that they have a right to be part of Afghanistan after our troops have left.
Behind a man/woman with a gun always is an indivual with certain interests and aims. Securing one's area, building up a fair government of one's own people, living in peace and economic freedom are fundamental desires that people face wherever they come from or whichever religion or ethnicity they belong to. It also can be the basis for talks with someone one considers as "enemy". Without acting imprudently, talks can offer a new dimension of conflict management. In my opinion, it's worth a try, without too much to lose.

Regards,
Susann Offenmüller
 

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