Monday, June 24, 2013

Afghan Peace Talks: Women & Minorities Hardest Hit

This blog post title is not a New York Times headline. But it is the second sentence of this article about talks with the Taliban portrayed as defeat:

After 12 years of war and thousands of deaths on both sides, the US and the Taliban are finally ready to talk peace. While the West hopes to smooth its withdrawal, human rights organizations forecast the return of dark times for women and minorities.

I assume peace talks are just there to see if the Taliban will cool it while we withdraw most(?) of our troops over the next year and a half. It's like a rear guard.

I can't imagine we are foolish enough to think the Taliban will agree to anything acceptable. Or am I naive in trusting our administration on this?

But I've expressed my worries again and again that our troop withdrawal--which is part of COIN 101 in turning over counter-insurgency functions to a capable Afghan security force--can be spun as our retreat, notwithstanding the good job the Afghans are doing in killing Taliban without our direct shooting role.

Contrary to the article's thrust, talks in 2007 were a stupid suggestion then, and current talks in no way validate suggestions in 2007 to talk. There is a difference between talks before we built up a large Afghan force and before we smashed up the Taliban quite a bit (and killed bin Laden, too) and talks now.

Thanks for the admission that out intervention helped women and minorities by ending "dark times," I suppose.

Oh, and if we are doomed now and the 2007 talks suggestion is being lauded, were the German Social Democrats trying to get us to lose the war in Afghanistan back then?

And it was such a "good war," too.

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot to mention that we obviously want to get the return of Bowe Bergdahl, an Army sergeant (he was promoted while in captivity) being held by the Taliban somewhere in Pakistan, most likely (thank you, Pakistan!). Hopefully a SEAL Team and supporting assets are ready to go if we find him.