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Intra-Afghanistan talks in Qatar set for Sept 12th


Jul 8, 2009
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Gatesville, TX
this is pretty huge, the previous peace deal was US/Taliban ONLY and excluded the government, THIS moment represents the government and the Taliban not only recognizing each other but engaging in talks. This is a massive hurdle, long delayed, it will be weird if it actually happens. this would mark the official "start" of long term peace in the history books is something can come out of it


Doha, Qatar - The long-awaited talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban will take place in Qatar's capital Doha from Saturday.

Qatar's foreign ministry made the announcement on Thursday as a final hurdle over the release of six Taliban prisoners appears to have been resolved.

"The State of Qatar is pleased to announce that the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations will commence in Doha on Saturday the 12th of September 2020," the ministry said in the statement.

"These vitally important direct negotiations between the different Afghan parties represent a step forward in bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan."

The Taliban, while confirming the talks, said the dialogue "intends to advance the negotiation process in an appropriate manner and bring about comprehensive peace and a pure Islamic system in the framework of our Islamic values and higher national interests".

A permanent ceasefire is expected to be at the top of the agenda as well as a political settlement to end the years-long conflict in the country.

The intra-Afghan talks were set to take place in March but have repeatedly been delayed over a prisoner exchange agreement made as part of the United States-Taliban deal signed in February.

In the agreement, the Taliban had agreed to release 1,000 Afghan troops, while the government said it would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

France and Australia objected to freeing six of the Taliban prisoners who were involved in the killing of their nationals.

Taliban and Afghan government sources told Al Jazeera a compromise was reached by sending the six prisoners to Qatar where they will remain in custody.

"Our six brothers [Taliban prisoners] arrived in Qatar a little while ago in good health," Taliban spokesman Naeem Wardak said in a statement on Thursday.

As part of the February agreement, the US will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Doha to take part in the peace talks.

Pompeo welcomed the start of negotiations, saying they will mark "a historic opportunity for Afghanistan to bring an end to four decades of war and bloodshed".

The Afghan government backs the current political system, while the Taliban wants to reimpose its version of Islamic law as the country's system of governance.

The armed group has, however, given vague comments on adopting a less strict stance towards women and social equality than during their 1996-2001 rule during which women were banned from attending school, working, taking part in politics or even leaving their homes without a male family member.

The Taliban will be led by Mawlavi Abdul Hakim, the armed group's chief justice and a close aide of the group's chief Haibatullah Akhunzada.

The Afghan government negotiating team, including Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the National Reconciliation Council which has been tasked to hold talks with the armed group, is planning to fly to Doha on Friday.

The team also includes women's rights activists.
Wow, just wow. Never thought I would see it in my lifetime.

a couple weeks back when the afg gov actually went through with the 5k prisoner transfer was an amazing step, but I didn't think intra talks would be so soon. despite continued violence in the region, the Taliban really has scaled back on attacks this year in general accordance with the peace treaty
I can not fucking believe that this isn't even noted on fox/msn/cnn/general aggregator websites. I seriously think this is getting less press than the prisoner release and, while that was significant for what it represented, this is overall the bigger story.

again, i don't expect some huge agreement to come out of this, but there is no real reason talks won't happen at this point and that alone is simply massive.....certainly bigger story than some university professor resigning for living her life as a "black woman, teaching African studies" despite being born a white person.
How much, if any of this progression is due to Trumps actions?

really depends on how you want to split the "administration" from "the man", but honestly quite a bit

everything from the ramp up in efforts initially under mattis, which was a "well if obama would have quit half assing, we could have...." which included the first use in war of the M.O.A.B. as a "show of force" up to the firing/resignation of mattis because "we tried ramping up for 2 years, time to shift gears" which is closer aligned to negotiating directly with Turkey over Syria and ramping up cutting out the AFG .gov from the peace deals as well as penalizing the AFG gov for corruption to increase pressure on them.

trump and his admin have been staunchly pro-withdrawal and the efforts constantly moving towards that have been significant, but also significantly more measured than previous things, such as GWB and his "mission accomplished" end of major operations or Obama and the Iraq withdrawal, leaving the "JV squad" as the responsibility of the iraq army and the "red line in the sand" against the syrian government.

Being so strongly pro-withdrawal by any means, trump as the figure head, put great freedom and effort into both diplomatic and military means until one/other/both bore fruit.

the initial success of getting the US-Taliban peace treaty was a big deal, the fact that the Taliban generally upheld their end of the deal is significant and the US being able to pressure the AFG Gov to also act in accordance with the peace deal is pretty big.

considering that this is also at a time when the taliban has +/- "significant" political sway in the country than at nearly any point in the last 20 years and they are willing to recognize the validity of the AFG Gov is very telling and not something I think would have been close or likely without both a "firm" stance against the AFG Gov by the USA. I don't see any way that Clinton or Biden or a continuation of the obama stance would have been as likely to reach us to this point, this quickly.

especially considering how willing those parties were to taking a soft and full funding stance towards Iran, who is exceptionally open to funding terror in neighbor states for the sake of destabilization.

article from Friday talking about how younger afgani's don't want formal recognition of the Taliban. as an American, I do believe that the ultimate end of the Taliban is something that they can and should do diplomatically. while there is obviously resistance to any sort of compromised peace deal, their efforts will hopefully be able to shift from bullets and car bombs to education and activism.

ABUL, Afghanistan—In July, after an Iranian social media campaign—#Don’t_Execute, calling for the regime to overturn the death sentences of three political prisoners—received support in neighboring Afghanistan, an Afghan Twitter user suggested replicating the hashtag in the Afghan political context. He said that Afghans should use #DoNotRedeemtheTaliban in Dari, referring to the government’s potential peace talks with the militant group.

Within hours, #Don’t_Execute became a global trend on Twitter after Aziz Hakimi tweeted, “Can we also tell the government and the international community to not redeem the Taliban?” The tweet—from an account that has since been deactivated—went viral, and more than 100,000 tweets with the hashtag were posted over the following week.

Some Afghans tweeted graphic images of Taliban attacks—mainly car bombs in the capital Kabul. People demanded that the government not compromise in the upcoming negotiations with the Taliban, in particular demanding protections of freedom of speech, gender equality, and democracy. “When we talk of the Taliban, there is no need for expertise, analysis, and reasoning,” one person tweeted. “Our memories, pains, sobs, angers, and tears that have never been wiped off can explain, instead of dozens of books and articles, that they are murderers, criminals, and enemies and should never be returned to power.”
After nearly two decades of war, a new generation of Afghans has grown up with a strong sense of social and political responsibility. But as peaceful public protest remains dangerous, they increasingly use social media to participate in political activities. In July 2016, two suicide bombers attacked a protest in Kabul, killing 83 civilians and wounding more than 230 others. In June 2017, another protest in the capital ended in when Afghan security forces allegedly shot and killed seven demonstrators. A triple bombing during the funeral for the protesters killed 20 civilians.

“Insecurity in Kabul robbed people of access to the streets,” said Ali Yawar Adili, a researcher at the Kabul-based think tank Afghanistan Analysts Network. “Instead of being on the streets, people can only express their concerns on social media.”

The U.S.-Taliban agreement is the latest chapter in a long history of deal-making to serve the interests of stakeholders rather than considering public opinion in Afghanistan.

So people retreated to social media pages. A recent survey showed that almost 90 percent of households in Afghanistan have at least one mobile phone, and about 40 percent have access to the Internet. And while traditional protests attempted only to hold the Afghan government accountable to its people, social media campaigns aim to voice concerns for a larger audience: the international community.

The slow-motion peace process came to a halt over the prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban for months. In early September, the government, after holding a consultative council, decided to release the remaining Taliban prisoners in a bid to kick off direct talks with the Taliban. As peace talks loom, concerns are now growing over a deal with the Taliban that undermines the liberal values that the United States and Afghans fought for during the past 20 years.

In Afghanistan, social media has become the primary means for ordinary Afghans to voice their concerns about the peace process. The U.S.-Taliban agreement signed in February, setting up the intra-Afghan peace talks, is the latest chapter in a long history of deal-making to serve the interests of stakeholders rather than considering public opinion in Afghanistan.

The #DoNotRedeemtheTaliban campaign shows that the peace process has failed to address concerns such as prioritizing human rights or a lasting cease-fire with the Taliban. “People feel they are left out of the process,” Hakimi said. “Social media is a refuge for people, a place where people can talk, connect with each other, and feel that someone else is listening to them. Social media makes people powerful.”

Adili, the researcher, said that the Afghan government was more accountable to the international community that pays as much as 75 percent of government’s expenses. “These Afghan carpetbaggers are accountable to donors,” Adili said. “When only social media campaigns influenced the donors, government officials would act and respond to the social media campaigns.”

As U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration’s direct negotiations with the Taliban progressed in 2019, many Afghans—including students, teachers, and government employees—joined the “My Red Line” campaign.

Laila Haidari, a social activist in Kabul, said that she often has her tweets translated from Dari into English, which can make campaigns more effective. “I do the extra work because I want to reach to human rights and democracy defenders,” Haidari said.

A social media campaign in November 2019 protested the arrest of two activists who had documented the systematic sexual exploitation of schoolboys in Afghanistan’s Logar province. Afghanistan’s intelligence agency had detained the activists and forced them to apologize. After the then U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, John Bass called it a “Soviet-style” arrest, President Ashraf Ghani ordered the activists’ release.

Social media campaigns have also influenced Afghanistan’s political discourse. As U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration’s direct negotiations with the Taliban progressed in 2019, many Afghans—including students, teachers, and government employees—joined the “My Red Line” campaign, sharing video clips stating common values they stood for in the talks with the Taliban.

Tamana, a student from Kandahar province, said in a video clip that she did not want to lose her right to education if the Taliban returned to power. “Because I want progress more and become a person in the future that can bring peace to my homeland, myself,” she said.

As a result of the campaign, the phrase “my red line” entered Afghan politics.

Protection of the republic and citizenship rights are our red lines,” said Ghani in a gathering with Afghan youths in February 2020. In an interview with local media outlets, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that return of the Islamic Emirate was “the red line of the international community.”

The most recent agreement Khalilzad struck failed to focus on values, however, and instead prioritized the interests of the United States and the Taliban: the U.S. troop withdrawal and the Taliban’s breakup with al Qaeda. Activists say the U.S.-Taliban deal shows the limitations of social media’s ability to effect change. “People can begin a campaign and protest a policy,” Hakimi said. “But it is more like a painkiller. It has little effect.” In Afghanistan, “there is no other mechanism” for people to participate in politics and decision-making, he added.
But as the United States gradually draws down its troops from Afghanistan, the peace process is moving to the next phase—the negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. As much as the process raised hopes for the end of the nearly 19-year war in Afghanistan, fears over the Taliban’s return to power remain.

Many activists fear that the Afghan government and the Taliban will negotiate over fundamental human rights in the process. The administration in Kabul was formed through a power-sharing deal, rather than a democratic election. The prospect of such deal-making frightens Afghans about their future. “When a political deal replaces votes, the election is meaningless,” Adili said.

Many activists fear that the Afghan government and the Taliban will negotiate over fundamental human rights.

So Afghans are trying to influence the negotiations through the only independent and available means: social media. Omar Sadr, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan, said that social media pages enable people to create a collective voice. “The collective voice creates pressure,” Sadr said. “At least, negotiators understand the concerns of people. They cannot ignore it.”

In one recent campaign, a group of Afghan activists created a social media campaign named Feminine Perspectives in a bid to raise demands of women in peace talks. Every week, the campaign focuses on one right. “We start this week with #WomenRightstoEducation,” read the campaign’s first tweet. “We request that you join us.” Afghan men and women joined the campaign, demanding the protection of women’s rights for education in the event of the Taliban’s return.

Mina Rezaee, a women’s rights activist in Kabul, posted a photo of an old man who lived in a rural area with a poster that promoted education. “These men are tired of the war,” she tweeted. “They were victims, but they want education for their children.”

But with a Taliban leadership that has yet to show willingness to compromise in talks with the government, Afghans fear that such free expression on social media pages will not be possible under a future government.

“Through social media pages, people connect with the government and the Taliban,” Hakimi, the twitter user, said. “Can you imagine a Taliban that will allow people to criticize it on social media pages?”
I hope this happens. People over there deserve a chance at peace. If this does come off it's another notch for trump getting the nobel peace prize. Waiting for heads to explode.
Fucking MSM will spin this into the Taliban interfering with our election. Fires out west will be worse under Trump... Give me a fucking break! :smokin:

video at article link

"if there is one lesson to be learned from recent Afghan history, it is that there is no military solution to the current issues"

"Q: what is in this for you? what will your grandkids say?

A: If this leads to a durable, dignified peace, that will be the biggest reward that I can imagine"

pretty good interview for the Afghan Gov position and take aways
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Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan and Afghanistan have reaffirmed their commitment to closer ties and the Afghan peace process, as the chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, continues his tour of his country’s eastern neighbour.

Speaking at an event in the capital, Islamabad, on Tuesday, Abdullah struck a markedly conciliatory tone, emphasising his country’s appreciation of Pakistan’s help in the peace process and the need for a new era of bilateral relations, which have often gone through periods of deep mistrust.

“After many troubling years, we now need to go beyond the usual stale rhetoric and shadowy conspiracy theories that have held us back,” said Abdullah.

“We cannot afford to pursue business as usual. We need fresh approaches and our people demand it of us.”

Afghanistan and Pakistan have routinely accused each other of allowing safe havens for armed groups that target each other’s territory, mainly the Afghan Taliban and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Cross-border attacks continue to occur on both sides, often targeting Pakistani security posts on the border which Pakistan treats as an international boundary but which Afghanistan has disputed.

Abdullah, who served until March as chief executive in the National Unity Government led by President Ashraf Ghani, has often accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and its allies.

On Tuesday, however, those accusations were not repeated or addressed, with Abdullah choosing instead to commit his country towards not allowing its territory to be used against any other countries.

“We do not want a terrorist footprint in our country or to allow any entity to pose a threat to any other nation,” he said.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi echoed Abdullah’s sentiments in a statement at the same event.

“[We need to have] recognition of the mistakes of the past,” said Qureshi. “Unless we recognise that, how do we move forward? Let’s not shy away from reality. Let’s accept reality and add a new chapter to our bilateral relations and build a common future for ourselves.”
A key player

Pakistan has been a key player in setting up direct negotiations, first between the United States and the Taliban – which has been fighting Afghan forces since it was toppled in a US-led invasion in 2001 – and again in facilitating the ongoing intra-Afghan dialogue process in the Qatari capital.

On Tuesday, Abdullah said that process was continuing to move forward, after facing several hurdles at the outset.

“A new future, a peaceful future, is on the horizon,” he said. “As we are speaking here, delegations from both sides in Doha, they are sitting around a table, discussing the ways and means of ending decades of conflict through a political settlement in Afghanistan.”

Qureshi repeated Pakistan’s stated position of not taking sides in the Afghan talks.

“We have no favourites,” he said. “My message is that we do not want to meddle in your internal affairs. My message is we respect and want to respect your sovereignty, your independence and your territorial integrity.”

In an op-ed published in Saturday’s Washington Post, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had reiterated the need for the Afghan peace process to move forward but added that it would be a slow process.

“All those who have invested in the Afghan peace process should resist the temptation for setting unrealistic timelines,” he said. “A hasty international withdrawal from Afghanistan would be unwise.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the prime minister’s office said it hoped the meeting would usher in “a new chapter” in relations between the South Asian neighbours.

“The prime minister reiterated his longstanding position that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a political solution is the only way forward,” it said. “The US-Taliban peace agreement was a major step forward in these endeavours.”

In Islamabad, Abdullah and Qureshi met for delegation-level talks on Monday, with both sides affirming their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties.

“We want to be friends, not masters,” said Qureshi on Tuesday. And that’s the paradigm shift, and that’s the new realisation and recognition that if we have to coexist in peace and build a common future.”

Abdullah will continue his visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, meeting Prime Minister Khan, President Arif Alvi and several other senior officials and leaders before departing for Kabul.

originally published the 29th of September.

Pakistan is a pretty good source of, well, all kinds of shit. if Pakistan can make good on ties with the Afghan Gov't and not just have this be pure lip service, there might actually be a chance for real change in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters killed more than 40 Afghan security forces in the early morning of Wednesday, provincial councillor Mohammad Azam Afzali told DPA news agency.

An aircraft bombarded the mosque after receiving information that Taliban fighters who were involved in the bloody attack on security forces were hiding there, Afzali added.

also, just a fun note, nobody can safely make an attack and run into a mosque/school/hospital to claim sanctuary :lmao: AFG Gov't don't give a fawk!

US has to deal with things like international council bodies :rasta:

but, killing 14 likely not the right people is no way to gain ground in return for the loss of 40 :( :(

‘Young generation under attack’: Afghans shaken by Kabul carnage

Afghanistan reels from attack on Kabul University that left at least 22 people, including 18 students, dead.

The attack on the university has caused anger, with demonstrators demanding a boycott of peace talks currently being held between the Afghan government leadership and the Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha.

The Doha talks, aimed at achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan, were envisioned in the US-Taliban agreement signed in February. US President Donald Trump has pushed for the agreement with the Taliban as he wanted to withdraw American troops to end its longest war overseas.

While ISIL claimed the attack, the second such attack in less than two weeks targeting students, the Afghan government blamed the Taliban for the killings with First Vice President Amrullah Saleh pointing fingers at the group.

Denying its involvement, the Afghan armed group blamed the government for failing to provide security against ISIL.

Last week, nearly 30 people, most of them students, were killed in an attack on a private education centre in a predominantly Shia area.

Violent attacks in Afghanistan have surged by 50 percent in the three months to the end of September when compared with the previous quarter since the Taliban launched the Doha talks, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a report on Thursday.

The watchdog said this quarter there were 2,561 civilian casualties including 876 deaths, up by 43 percent from April to June.

As per the Doha agreement, to which Kabul was not a participant, the Taliban pledged not to attack American forces. But the Taliban, which has waged an armed rebellion since it was toppled from power in 2001, has continued to target Afghan forces.

Isil affiliated group claims the last few rounds of attacks

government blames taliban for being general piles of shit and enabling this crap while destroying faith in the government

taliban blames the government for not being able to provide proper security for people under it's control

time marches on, afghans in kabul are still trying to figure out how to deal with their population change and the slums that come with it, apparently the younger generation still hosts optimistic people about the future. at least they don't seem to be communists, but this is only going to add to their fights with the various muslims.

there isn't enough security forces to be everywhere, always. if the russians made great ground by supplying afghanistan with AK47's in the 80's and the CIA made ground supplying them with AK's in the 90's, maybe it will be time for the US to make grounds by supplying them with 1911's in the 20's. Make personal self defense real in afghanistan
Afghan government and Taliban representatives said they have reached a preliminary deal to press on with peace talks, their first written agreement in 19 years of war.

The agreement on Wednesday lays out the way forward for further discussion but is considered a breakthrough because it will allow negotiators to move on to more substantive issues, including talks on a ceasefire.

“The procedure including its preamble of the negotiation has been finalised and from now on, the negotiation will begin on the agenda,” Nader Nadery, a member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, told Reuters.

The Taliban spokesman confirmed the same on Twitter.

“A joint working committee was tasked to prepare the draft topics for the agenda (of peace talks),” a joint statement from both sides said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said on Twitter, quoting the Afghan leader: “(The agreement) is a step forward towards beginning the negotiations on the main issues, including a comprehensive ceasefire as the key demand of the Afghan people.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated the two sides on “perseverance and willingness to find common ground”, and added that the United States would “work hard with all sides in pursuit of a serious reduction of violence and ceasefire”.

US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the two sides had agreed on a “three-page agreement codifing rules and procedures for their negotiations on a political road map and a comprehensive ceasefire”.
‘Springboard to peace’

The agreement comes after months of discussions in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in negotiations encouraged by the United States. In Afghanistan, the two sides are still at war, with Taliban attacks on government forces continuing unabated.

The Taliban has refused to agree to a ceasefire during the preliminary stages of talks, despite calls from Western capitals and global bodies, saying that would be taken up only when the way forward for talks was agreed upon.

United Nations envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons welcomed the “positive development” on Twitter, adding that “this breakthrough should be a springboard to reach the peace wanted by all Afghans”.

Last month, an agreement reached between Taliban and government negotiators was held up at the last minute after the Taliban baulked at the document’s preamble because it mentioned the Afghan government by name.

The Taliban refused to refer to the Afghan negotiating team as representatives of the Afghan government, as they contest the legitimacy of the administration led by President Ashraf Ghani.

A European Union diplomat familiar with the process told Reuters that both sides had kept some contentious issues on the side to deal with separately.

“Both sides also know that Western powers are losing patience and aid has been conditional … so both sides know they have to move forward to show some progress,” said the diplomat, requesting anonymity.

In a statement on Wednesday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry welcomed the agreement and said it was “another significant step forward”.

“The agreement reflects a common resolve of the parties to secure a negotiated settlement. It is an important development contributing towards a successful outcome of intra-Afghan negotiations, which we all hope for,” it said.

The Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 by US-led forces. A US-backed government has held power in Afghanistan since then, although the Taliban have control over wide areas of the country.

Under a February deal, foreign forces are to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.

US President Donald Trump has looked to hasten the withdrawal, despite criticism, saying he wanted to see all American soldiers home by Christmas to end the US’s longest war.

The Trump administration has since announced that there would be a sharp drawdown by January, but at least 2,500 troops would remain beyond then.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday warned NATO against withdrawing troops prematurely and said it should “ensure that we tie further troop reductions in Afghanistan to clear conditions”.


continued progress

2021 update

The Taliban exploited former US President Donald Trump’s rush to pull US forces from Afghanistan to continue attacking government forces, Ghani suggested.

After the US-Taliban deal last year, US officials assured Kabul “there will be a ceasefire or a very substantial reduction of violence”, Ghani said.

“Instead, violence has peaked,” he said.

And rather than pursuing peace talks in good faith, he added, “the Taliban are finding one excuse after another not to meet”.

Ghani said he spoke with new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday and was assured that Biden’s administration would review matters by sending a new team to Afghanistan, and would consult more closely with Kabul.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the early focused, systematic attention and a dialog between two partners that have mutually sacrificed and have a mutual interest,” he said.

The Taliban believes that it defeated the US and that NATO forces in Afghanistan are “on the run”, Ghani said.

“Now, robust diplomacy and a stand on conditions-based approaches will enable us all hopefully to resume meaningful discussion,” he added.

The US has about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, down from close to 13,000 a year ago.

In the Trump administration’s withdrawal deal with the Taliban, the US was supposed to pull all troops out by May 2021 in return for security pledges from the fighters.

Ghani said US forces need to remain, without specifying how many. He said he expected Biden to make “the right decision”.

“NATO without US enablers cannot continue its mission,” he said.

If the “Taliban realise that they can prevail through violence, they will not let go,” he added.

“A combination of presence, plus diplomacy, bringing US tools of power in a concentrated manner … would be extremely crucial to our success,” Ghani said.
trump getting the nobel peace prize.

Silly. If it happens, it will be the reason to nominate Biden for the peace prize as it resulted from all the exceptional international relations work he and his administration has orchestrated in the last two weeks. It will be wall to wall on the MSM and any disputer will be crushed under the avalanche of praise and Biden news expose (I dont know how to do the french accent, you get what I mean) weekend morning news shows. Trump supporters will continue to be labelled evil for trying to steal this great honor from Biden the great uniter.
Wow.... That Biden is kicking ass already.

For someone who’s only been president for 10 hours, I’d say he’s doing great. I realize it’s been two weeks, but I’m only counting when he’s awake.
and the hawks screech loudly...


WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States should urgently re-open talks with the Taliban to delay a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan beyond the May 1 deadline agreed to by the Trump administration, a bipartisan experts group recommended Wednesday after months of studying potential pathways to peace.

Sticking to the deadline, without first achieving a decline in violence and progress in peace talks, could lead to a collapse of the Afghan state and a resumption of civil war, the Afghan Study Group said in its report. On the other hand, it noted that if the Taliban don't accept a delay beyond May in completing the withdrawal of foreign troops, the militants might abandon the nascent peace process.

“The overall strategy that the group is proposing, however, depends on the U.S. negotiating team making clear to the Taliban that they have not fulfilled the conditions in the Doha agreement under which a U.S. withdrawal can take place,” the report said. It was referring to the deal struck in Doha, Qatar, last February that raised hopes of concluding America's longest war, which in October will mark its 20th year.

The recommendation, part of a broader proposed strategy, offers a possible way forward for a Biden administration which, like its predecessor, sees no military solution in Afghanistan but seems more doubtful of the Taliban’s commitment to a negotiated peace.

Although the administration is not required to accept the group’s recommendation, the report could be given some consideration by policymakers because the study group was created by Congress in a bipartisan 2019 vote.

Pentagon officials in recent days have expressed skepticism of fulfilling the withdrawal commitment made one year ago in Doha. The Pentagon's chief spokesman, John Kirby, said last week the Taliban have made it “that much more difficult for final decisions to be made about force presence by their reticence to commit to reasonable, sustainable, and credible negotiations at the table.”

Kirby said the administration is undertaking a broad review of Afghanistan policy.
For its part, the U.S. agreed at Doha to fully withdraw by May 2021, starting by reducing troop levels from 14,000 to 8,600 by July 2020. The Trump administration went further, reducing to about 4,500 last summer. Last month it cut further, to 2,500, just days before President Joe Biden took office. That current total is the lowest since 2001, the year the United States invaded Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks that it said were generated by al-Qaida from its base in Afghanistan.
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