In March, Vice President Binden stated the United States and coalition forces would need to negotiate with the Taliban, since 70 percent were not all that bad and just in it for the money. The negotiations are not going well, with the Taliban refusing a power-sharing agreement in recent days.
We were told by Democrats – including President Obama – that Afghanistan was the right war at the right time. The Taliban outwardly supported and gave refuge to the al-Qaida terrorist organization. Those who harbored and supported terrorists were to be treated as part of the problem.
The Obama administration has elected to negotiate with those who are part of the problem, and it’s not working. Biden noted in March…
“… I do think it is worth engaging and determining whether or not there are those who are willing to participate in a secure and stable Afghan state,” Mr. Biden said.
President Obama on Friday left open the door to negotiating with elements of the Taliban as part of a counterinsurgency strategy first conceived and carried out in Iraq by Gen. David Petraeus, the former commander of military forces in Iraq who now oversees military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan as commander of CentCom.
In response to a question about how many of the Taliban might be considered “moderate” and therefore open to reconciliation, Mr. Biden ticked off some percentages.
“Five percent of the Taliban is incorrigible, not susceptible to anything other than being defeated. Another 25 percent or so are not quite sure, in my view, [of] the intensity of their commitment to the insurgency,” Mr. Biden said during a press conference.
“And roughly 70 percent are involved because of the money, because of them being . . . paid,” he said.
This position is a far cry from 12 months ago, when the United States was not involved with Taliban negotiations, leaving decisions on who to work with to the locals. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher noted at the time…
“Both Afghanistan and Pakistan … have policies on reconciliation. We have been and continue to be willing to support those policies,” Boucher told the BBC World Service on October 30. “This is something for local people to decide who they can reconcile with and how they do that.”
I don’t mean to bury the led, but I found this update on islamonline.net yesterday. Take it for what it’s worth, since I can not find any other news sources.
The emboldened Taliban movement in Afghanistan turned down an American offer of power-sharing in exchange for accepting the presence of foreign troops, Afghan government sources confirmed.
“US negotiators had offered the Taliban leadership through Mullah Wakil Ahmed Mutawakkil (former Taliban foreign minister) that if they accept the presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan, they would be given the governorship of six provinces in the south and northeast,” a senior Afghan Foreign Ministry official told IslamOnline.net requesting anonymity for not being authorized to talk about the sensitive issue with the media.
He said the talks, brokered by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, continued for weeks at different locations including the Afghan capital Kabul.
The United States Embasy in Kabul denied the report, and embassy spokeswoman Cathaline Haydan stated no talks with the Taliban were happening.
Someone needs to ask the vice president – after referring to his statement – if the United States is negotiating with the moderate wing of the Taliban, and if so, what’s on the table?