American officials have said for years that the war in Afghanistan ultimately required a political solution, not a military one. The “surge” of additional troops ordered by President Obama at the end of 2009, and the sharp increase in kill-and-capture missions against the Taliban’s midlevel leadership by special operations forces over the past two years have largely been aimed at getting the Taliban to the negotiating table.Does anyone remember Obama announcing the surge as a way to primarily get the enemy to the negotiating table, as opposed to kicking their ass (as Bush had not)? Wait, the ass-kicking comment was about the BP oil spill, sorry.
Yes, yes, it's possible this is just more kabuki theater designed to put pressure on Karzai by fostering the impression we might leave him to the Taliban wolves. It's also possible the administration is a bit too eager to negotiate an 'end' to the war before November for political reasons. Such is above the pay grade of most bloggers here in bitter-clinger land.
But we've always been told the United States doesn't negotiate with terrorists. Will anyone bother to ask why the United States would think of negotiating a peace treaty with the terrorist facilitators of the group that attacked us on 9/11 and a longtime proxy of Pakistan? After all, the Pak ISI created the Taliban. The Times story goes on to say the Oatar office is a way of "lessening Pakistani influence over the talks" without explaining why, as if they don't believe Talibanis can use an iPhone or Blackberry or that any deal wouldn't include Islamabad. Well, let's hope they know what they are doing. It's only our national security at stake.