That Foggy Mountain Breakdown–Afghanistan

There is a wealth of opinions on the breakdown of the talks between the US and the Taleban…..all said the common opinion is that Trump was right cancel these talks for it gives the US time to revamp its Afghan strategy…..

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he had called off talks with the Taliban at Camp David. The meeting had probably been arranged to finalise a deal for the start of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The deal apparently had four main pillars: a Taliban guarantee not to allow foreign fighters to use Afghanistan to launch attacks outside the country; the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces; an intra-Afghan dialogue; and a permanent ceasefire.

The question marks over that plan are the credibility of any Taliban commitments, the exclusion of the Afghan government from the peace talks, and what happens next.

These problems are well known to any observer of Afghanistan and certainly to the U.S. lead negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad. He may well have reached the best deal he could with the Taliban, but that doesn’t mean it was one worth taking. Fortunately, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump seem to have a perspective that’s different from the negotiating team’s.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/09/11/the_breakdown_of_ustaliban_talks_buys_time_to_reset_the_afghanistan_strategy_114737.html

Was Trump right to cancel these talks?

The new peace agreement thus far, painstakingly negotiated by U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad – a skilled former ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations – was between the U.S. and the Taliban only. The Camp David meeting was supposed to be a turning point, wherein the Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban could come together, echoing former President Bill Clinton’s bringing together of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the government of Israel in 2000, also at Camp David. (That attempt, too, died stillborn.)

The deal on the table reportedly included a U.S. withdrawal of its 14,000 troops, including a down-payment of around 5,000 leaving within a few months after the accord was completed. The Taliban were to provide guarantees that there would be no return to creating “safe havens” for groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (which is rising in prominence within Afghanistan). There was also a provision to free thousands of Taliban prisoners being held by the Afghan government. All of this was to be cemented with a prolonged cease-fire – and it was that portion of the agreement that the Taliban failed to honor, continuing their attacks and killing another U.S. service member last week.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-09/trump-was-right-to-cancel-the-taliban-talks

One of the media’s main sticking points is that there was NO Afghan government representation…..but once the US takes it on the lame the Taleban will once again become the government in power in Afghanistan.

Really the only thing to worry about is to take measures to assure the US that there will be no safe haven for terrorists like AQ and ISIS.

The governmental form matters not….for Afghanistan will be Afghanistan.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Camp David?

Closing Thought–09Sep19

There was an attempt to hold secret talks between the US and the Taleban on the possibility of a peace agreement…..and dear Mr. Trump decided to cancel the meeting…

Many months of tough negotiations between US and Taliban officials came to a draft agreement which some analysts believe was going to be formally finalized as a peace deal this weekend. That will not happen.

President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday announcing that he has “called off peace negotiations” with the Taliban, citing anger over one of the Taliban’s car bombings in Kabul last week.

Trump also revealed that he had planned secret talks with both Afghan President Ghani and Taliban leaders at Camp David, but that in the course of his new decision, he had canceled those meetings as well.

It is unclear, then, whether Trump’s saying he “called off” the negotiations just refers to this weekend, or to the entire process. The US State Department was unclear, and referred questions to the White House.

(antiwar.com)

Everybody scrambled to defend the president’s decision……of course they are spin it to the point that they, Taleban, has been killing Americans and to hold such a meeting with a group that [protected the group that attacked on 9/11.

Now there is the reason…….it was a political decision nothing else.

It would have been used against Trump in the upcoming 2020 election….so all the “reasons” were just fluff…the real reason was a electoral decision.

The spin is to cover the fact that the president is a moron for even considering such a meeting just days before any 9/11 remembrances…..these meetings would appear to be a spit in the faces of those that died on 9/11….just think of the ammo he would give to his opponent in 2020….

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Afghanistan–Deal Or No Deal?

I have been watching the events in Afghanistan around the possibility of a peace deal between the US and the Taleban……https://lobotero.com/2019/08/27/afghanistan-yes-we-have-a-deal/

After months of back and forth….the news is that there is a deal…..

US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has reported that the US and Taliban have a peace deal “in principle” now, and that it is just pending approval from President Trump. The Afghan government has confirmed being given a copy of the draft deal.

The specifics are not all public knowledge yet, but negotiators say that the deal would remove some 5,000 US ground troops from Afghanistan in the first five months, in return for the Taliban agreeing to keep ISIS and al-Qaeda out, and reduce violence.

All previous indications were that the deal was meant to see a full withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. This raises questions since Trump promised last week that he would “always” have a presence in Afghanistan.

With only mentions of 5,000 leaving, it leaves questions of what will happen to the other 8,000 or so troops. It is unthinkable for the Taliban to have not covered this matter, but so far those facts are not known.

What is known is that some in the White House want to expand the number of CIA on the ground in Afghanistan even as troops leave. Both the CIA and military are expressing concerns about this, since the CIA has embedded with troops in the past. The in-administration debate is further adding to resistance to leaving Afghanistan at all.

(antiwar.com)

We have been close before…..hopefully this time it is closer than in the past…..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Afghanistan–Yes, We Have A Deal

The US and the Taleban in Afghanistan have been working on a peace deal that would see US troops out of the country…..it has been an up and down process from close no cigar to maybe to…….

It seems the news yesterday was good news indeed……

Sources within Doha say that the most recent round of talks between the US and Taliban have worked out a peace deal for Afghanistan. The plan is to announce it formally in a few days, giving the US time to inform the Afghan government on what’s been decided.

Details aren’t being made public so far, but US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is heading to Kabul to brief the government there, and will subsequently travel to Brussels to inform NATO about what is going on.

Despite the indications this is a done deal, President Trump is still being very coy, saying that as far as he is concerned there is “no timeline” for ending the Afghan War, and that he is “in no rush.”

Trump has been publicly of two minds on Afghanistan for a long time, however, conceding that the war is a waste and should be ended while at the same time saying he’s also perfectly fine with America’s longest war dragging on even longer.

(antiwar.com)

Announcement of pact will be made in a few days.

With the announcement the Taleban had one of their own…..

Taliban commanders anonymously quoted in the press are claiming that their reported peace deal with the US would not require them to stop carrying out attacks on he Afghan government, but would require the US to stop coming to the aid of the Ghani government.

If this was true, it would be very surprising, as all indications were that the peace deal was intended to be followed quickly with a ceasefire across Afghanistan while US troops are withdrawing, and power-sharing talks.

Zalmay Khalilzad, who negotiated the treated, says this is not true, and that the US would defend the Afghan forces even after any peace deal, and that the future would be decided in intra-Afghan negotiations.

(antiwar.com)

So we have a possible peace deal in Afghanistan between the Taleban and the US and nothing much would change….do I have this about right?

As a student of conflict resolution would someone explain to me how this is a success…..

Is this just a way to head off the antiwar rhetoric in the coming election?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–19Aug19

The news is that the peace deal the US was working on with the Taleban has fallen through and the word is that we are staying for the long run.

But I subscribe to a Neocon hot spot, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and they published an article that I disagree with on all levels…..

Two years ago this month, Zalmay Khalilzad, the distinguished diplomat who has served as America’s ambassador to both Iraq and Afghanistan, praised President Trump for adopting “a realistic position regarding peace talks” with the Taliban, “moving away from President Barack Obama’s pursuit of reconciliation regardless of the deteriorating military situation.”

A year later, Mr. Khalilzad was appointed U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation. Since then, he has adopted an unrealistic position regarding peace talks with the Taliban, moving toward President Obama’s pursuit of reconciliation regardless of the deteriorating military situation.

If I’m wrong about this, I’ll be pleased to eat my words. But the evidence is compelling.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/08/14/in-afghanistan-no-deal-is-better-than-a-bad-deal/

I disagree.

Any deal is a better deal than we have now.

Our troops do not need some world changing deal….they need to come home and get a rest from the silliness the US has been playing at for the last 15 years.

Stop playing into the hands of the defense industry….care more for the lives of troops than for the profits of corporations.

The word is that Trump wants out of Afghanistan……it will look good on the resume for 2020…..

Donald Trump has met his peace envoy to Afghanistan and top security advisers to discuss progress in the latest round of talks with the Taliban, fuelling speculation that a deal to end America’s longest war might be within reach.

“Many on the opposite side of this 19-year war, and us, are looking to make a deal – if possible!” Trump tweeted after the meeting at his golf club in New Jersey, where the group is believed to have discussed a draft peace plan.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/17/trump-hints-america-close-to-deal-with-taliban-others-question-peace

That was last weekend and we enter a new week…..and we know that Trump changes his mind on a dime…..will we see and end of the longest war?

In closing….50 years ago Jimi Hendrix took to the stage at Woodstock….

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Afghanistan—the Up And Down

The big news for the MSM today was that Starbucks will bring out their Autumn stable “pumpkin spice latte”…..really?  This is news why?

But you were slobbering over the idea of a pumpkin spice latte…real news has hit.

I have been waiting for some good news out of Afghanistan for 18+ years…..and then word came…..

Just 4 days ago some good news was reported…..it said that the peace deal with the Taleban could be signed within days…..

Peace talks between the US and Taliban are going to be taking a little time off for the Eid al-Adha holiday. When they come back after the holiday, the Afghan peace deal is going to be the focus again, and the expectation is it will be finalized.

Hopes for a finalized deal are nothing new, but both sides are now saying they believe that a peace agreement will be reached, and signed, at some point in the this week. This will then lead to work on direct Taliban-Afghan talks on power-sharing.

That’s a key issue. The deal with the US involves removing foreign troops, Taliban keeping foreign Islamists out of Afghanistan, and a ceasefire. The power-sharing deal is the last aspect of peace, and the Taliban had long resisted entering such talks until the US pullout was agreed upon.

(antiwar.com)

Then the grim news came out today…..NO DEAL…..

Hopes that the end of Eid al-Adha would lead to an announced peace deal in Afghanistan has not happened, at least not yet, with the latest round of Doha talks ending Monday with the Taliban saying that “both sides agreed to consult their respective leaderships for next steps.”

Details are still emerging on the most recent talks, and are likely to do so for the next couple of days. There was no indication that any specific obstacle remains, and indications are the peace deal looks roughly the same as it has after the last couple of rounds.

The deal would see foreign troops withdraw, in return for the Taliban keeping ISIS and al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan. The hope was that a ceasefire might’ve been announced this week, and that Taliban-Afghan power-sharing talks would begin

(antiwar.com)

Illustrates the news from Afghanistan…it is good…it is bad….it is up….it is down.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Peace In Our Time?

I wish I could say that with the urge to laugh out loud…..

Sorry I had to borrow a line from UK’s Chamberlain in 1938….but this time I am talking about America’s longest war ever….Afghanistan.

The latest round of talks between the US and the Taliban have ended with what is being called a “roadmap to peace” for Afghanistan. The agreement is non-binding, but points toward a formal agreement being not far down the road.

The talks effectively have an agreement on the US withdrawal and the Taliban fighting against ISIS and al-Qaeda, and commits both sides to a deal to end civilian casualties and negotiate with the Afghan government on power-sharing.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the head US negotiator, is expressing hopes that the deal will ultimately be finalized by September 1. This would be the day for signing the deal, though when everything would be implemented is still unclear.

A final deal is expected to both put a timeline to everything, and provide some mechanism of international guarantors for the peace deal, ending 18 years of US-led occupation of Afghanistan.

(antiwar.com)

Where was the “elected” Afghan government in these talks?

I asked and I received…..

The Afghan peace process “must be fully Afghan-owned and Afghan-led,” former President Hamid Karzai said at the 8th World Peace Forum in China on Tuesday, according to Xinhua report.

“Progress is there between the United States and the Taliban, and hopefully, it is one that will ensure lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Karzai said.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad concluded the seventh round of talks with the Taliban negotiators on July 9 in Qatar. He was cited by reports as saying that the Afghans are closer to reaching peace than any time in the past.

Khalilzad said on July 8 that he had “lots of progress” on four key issues under debate in the negotiations.

The four issues which have been discussed by the US and the Taliban negotiators in the seven rounds of talks are counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks.  

Karzai lauded efforts made to push for national reconciliation and bring about peace in Afghanistan, such as the two-day intra-Afghan dialogue opened on Sunday in Qatar’s capital Doha with the presence of a 17-member negotiating team from the Taliban.

(tolonews.com)

Wait!

Did I see that the Taleban was fighting against AQ and ISIS?

And yet the enemy of our enemy is still our enemy…..then explain to all of us just why the Hell are we still fighting and dying in this region?

NATO has a different take on when  to leave…..

Acting Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid, the Resolute Support Commander Gen. Scott Miller, and NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative Nicholas Kay on Wednesday visited Ghazni to assess the security of the central province.

Addressing the meeting, Kay said NATO will not leave Afghanistan until the job is done.

“We are not leaving. We are not leaving until the job is done. If the Taliban think they can just wait us out, then they have miscalculated,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the acting defense minister said they visited the province to show to the security forces that the government is supporting them.

https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/nato-will-not-leave-afghanistan-until-job-done-kay

WTF?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”