US/Taliban Peace Talks Faltering, With Broad Implications Post-Withdrawal

By: Monday March 26, 2012 10:20 am

The International Crisis Group has a new report out showing that the so-called reconciliation talks with the Taliban are actually going nowhere, and that civil war could result from a US continuing to lead those talks. The think tank believes that responsibility should shifted to the United Nations. In a report released Sunday, the Brussels-based [...]

US Policy in Afghanistan Unraveling After Massacre

By: Thursday March 15, 2012 8:15 am

While demonstrations and protests have been muted, the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier (or soldiers; still no clarity on that) has begun to unravel US policy in the war. The military transferred the soldier to Kuwait, a move that has sparked outrage among the population, who think that justice ought to [...]

Report: US Agrees in Principle to Transfer Taliban Prisoners to Afghanistan

By: Tuesday January 3, 2012 2:19 pm

Let’s follow up on today’s item about the Taliban opening an office in Qatar, to begin work on a peace and reconciliation deal in Afghanistan. The counterpart to this action was supposed to be the transfer of several Taliban detainees at Guantanamo into Afghan custody. Because of the constraints placed by Congress on the movement [...]

Taliban Strikes Deal to Open Office in Qatar, to Negotiate Peace in Afghanistan

By: Tuesday January 3, 2012 8:15 am

The Taliban has agreed to open an office in Qatar, seen as a precursor to peace talks in Afghanistan. In a statement, Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said that along with agreeing to set up the office in Qatar, the group was asking that Taliban detainees held at the American prison in Guantánamo [...]

US May Release Taliban Prisoners From Guantanmo in Goodwill Gesture

By: Friday December 30, 2011 6:33 am

The future of peace talks with the Taliban to end the Afghanistan war may hinge on thetransfer of a prisoner from Guantanamo Bay. This sign of goodwill could pave the way for broader talks aimed at reconciliation for the Taliban and integration into the Afghan government. But the US is not convinced that they should [...]

Administration’s New Afghan Strategy Looks Like Joe Biden’s 2009 Afghan Strategy

By: Tuesday November 1, 2011 2:23 pm

The United States has a revised strategy for the war in Afghanistan, one which, according to Spencer Ackerman, is pretty bracingly honest: The Obama administration, as the Washington Post reports, is pursuing a new strategy to end the war, called “Fight, Talk, Build,” in Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s phrase. In essence, it means [...]

Libyan Rebels Backtrack on Promise to Allow Gadhafi to “Retire” Inside Country

By: Tuesday July 5, 2011 10:36 am

The Libyan rebels either are or are not engaged in talks with the Gadhafi regime, depending upon whether you believe their actions or their denials. The rebels started with support for the African Union plan to open negotiations Libya, without Gadhafi’s involvement. In exchange for the talks on Libya’s future, the AU asked that the [...]

Construction Contracts Point to Permanent Bases in Afghanistan

By: Tuesday June 28, 2011 1:49 pm

Walter Pincus was the guy at the Washington Post known for writing skeptical stories about the Iraq debacle that wound up on page A17. He still gets that level of respect today, even when he’s got better information than anyone else. In this case, Pincus advances the story of permanent bases in Afghanistan (I’m calling [...]

Obama Will Announce 10,000 Troops Out of Afghanistan This Year, Another 23,000 Out By Next Summer

By: Wednesday June 22, 2011 1:39 pm

Since Scott Wilson and Karen DeYoung broke the suspense, I guess I’m free to say now that the President will announce tonight the removal of all 33,000 second surge troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, by September 2012. This would include a reduction of 10,000 troops by the end of the year, with the other [...]

Rep. John Garamendi on Afghanistan: Without a Withdrawal Plan, “There’s Going to Be a Revolt” in Congress

By: Friday June 3, 2011 9:56 am

In addition to seeking counsel on Medicare and taxes, House Democrats pressed President Obama yesterday in that White House meeting on Afghanistan. Because of deficit hysteria or Anthony’s Weiner or whatever, we don’t hear a lot about Afghanistan. But Democrats are united in their concern that we are muddling through a war without a strategy [...]

As Afghan Reconciliation Talks Escalate, So Does the Undeclared War in Pakistan

By: Tuesday May 17, 2011 7:35 am

In a blockbuster deal announced just under the trade deadline, America will deal its war in Afghanistan for a war in Pakistan. The deal was announced in a series of maneuvers today. first: The administration has accelerated direct talks with the Taliban, initiated several months ago, that U.S. officials say they hope will enable President [...]

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