Apophis

U.S. signs peace deal with Taliban, a turning point in the 18-year war in Afghanistan

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Apophis   

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar inked the deal in an opulent hall in a five-star hotel in Dohar, Qatar. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo witnessed the signing.

The agreement lays out a path for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan beginning with a drawdown to 8,600 troops "within months" upon President Trump's orders, according to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller.

The deal stipulates that the Taliban will pledge to enter into talks with the Afghan government and not to harbor terrorist groups intent on attacking the West.

In Kabul, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper attended a ceremony with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“From the first day that Americans came, neither we wanted them to stay for centuries, nor they wanted that,” acting Afghan defense minister Asadullah Khalid said ahead of the ceremony in Kabul. Speaking to the press in remarks carried by Afghan state television, he said the departure of a “few thousand” U.S. troops would not affect security in Afghanistan.

After the deal is signed, the Afghan government must assemble a negotiating team and navigate a planned prisoner exchange.

The Taliban provided U.S. negotiators a list of 5,000 Taliban prisoners currently held in detention by the Afghan government. And the militants announced 1,000 members of the Afghan security forces in Taliban captivity would be released in exchange.

“This is a test for the Americans,” said former senior Taliban official Abdul Salam Zaeef. “When this step is taken properly, then we’ll go to negotiations.” Afghan government officials have said that such an exchange would only occur during inter-Afghan talks or after they are complete.

Another potential obstacle after the deal is signed is the formation of an inclusive negotiating team to represent the Afghans who are not aligned with the Taliban. The announcement of disputed election results earlier this month has left the government in Kabul deeply divided and has the potential to undermine Ghani’s mandate to form that team.

An unofficial Afghan government delegation tried to meet Taliban officials in Doha Friday, but the Taliban declined the meeting. Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said “We have neither invited nor will meet the delegation,” according to Radio Mashaal.

A peace deal with the Taliban has been a critical foreign policy goal for President Trump, who campaigned on ending the war.

In a statement Friday, Trump called the deal “a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home.” But the president has faced fierce criticism from the Afghan government as well as from fellow Republicans at home.

Afghan officials have repeatedly criticized the United States for excluding them from talks with the Taliban. Any significant withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country is expected to place increased pressure on Afghan government forces, whose casualty rates continue to rise.

On Thursday, a group of Republican lawmakers released a letter warning that the Taliban has “a history of extracting concessions in exchange for false assurances.”

“A full-scale U.S. withdrawal” would “allow terrorist groups in Afghanistan to grow stronger and establish safe havens from which to plot attacks against us,” the letter continued.

Trump’s Friday statement said “ultimately it will be up to the people of Afghanistan to work out their future. We, therefore, urge the Afghan people to seize this opportunity for peace and a new future for their country.”

U.S. and Taliban negotiators were close to signing a peace deal in September, but the effort was scuttled by Trump after an attack by the Taliban killed a U.S. soldier.

Since then, chief U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad sought confidence-building measures to bring both sides back to the table. In November, the Taliban released two Western hostages in exchange for the release of senior militants linked to the Taliban by the Afghan government. And over the last week both sides reduced violence nationwide.

It is unclear if the reduction in violence will hold in the coming weeks as Afghan government officials and the Taliban begin talks. The Afghan government initially demanded a cease-fire before agreeing to talks with the Taliban.

As peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban gained momentum last year, violence in Afghanistan intensified. The United Nations annual report on civilian casualties released this month said that in 2019 3,403 civilians were killed and 6,989 injured.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has documented more than 100,000 civilian casualties since the organization began its tally in 2009.

 

HIIRAAN.COM

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar inked the deal in an opulent hall in a five-star hotel in Dohar...

 

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Further proof that history matters.

Further proof that Afghanistan will remain as killer of Empires.

Location, Location, Location...

Politico-Geography philosopher MacKinder turning in his grave.

"Who controls the heartland (Euro-Asia), will control the world." Professor MacKinder
Indians, Chinese, Russians, British, Persians, Romans/East...almost controlled Euro Asia, but everyone of them were either ignominosly defeated or met set back in Afghanistan. The British empire had an incident where only one man made it out alive on a horse back.

Alexander the great turning in his grave. Both saying I told you so.

"May god save you/protect you, from the teeth of the Tiger, from the poison of the Cobra and from the revenge of the Afghan" Alexander the great

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galbeedi   
11 hours ago, Apophis said:

Maybe it is time we do the same with alshabab

We should. 

why destroy one another. These  killers are our own sons. 

It has been 14 years and things are almost the same., Despite few security gains Al-shabaab is active and well. It is time to negotiate.

The same guys who kept saying, " we do not negotiate with terrorists" are initiating their way out from their mess. We should follow suit.

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Khadafi   
17 hours ago, Apophis said:

Maybe it is time we do the same with alshabab.

Thats a good idea Apophis but one doomed to fail. The reason for that is that the Taliban and Al-shabaab diffier in their ideological background.  The Taliban is a traditionalist hanafi movemet with pashtun nationaism (pakhtunwali). The Al-shabaab is more inspired by  the Salafi-jihadi narrative, meaing that it lacks Somali nationalism and does not even belive in the concept of a nation state.

 

They belive that our religon condones a perperteful  never ending wars with non muslims.While the Taliban rejected Al-qaedas efoorts to join them the Al-shabaab did so. Why? A somali culture  with a inferority complex to arabs probably led to them join Al-qaeda despite that they would not get anthing by joining them.

 

Splinter groups might defect or negotiate but will take a while for them to emerge.

 

 

 

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Oodweyne   

So this is the modern interpretation or the latest version of the "Yanks's cutting-and-running" from a failed war. Just like Dr Henry Kissinger had to do a similar kind of "cutting-and-running" away from another US's failed war in Vietnam back in 1973/74.

And just as US have had to hand over the fate of South-Vietnam (who were their allies) to the North Vietnam's communist and the nationalist forces when they have decided to cut their loses and scupper out of the dodge city that was Saigon, it seems that the US are now also signing off the political fate of Afghanistan, the fate of their allies in that country, their political stooges, their convinced supporters, and the vulnerable feminist groups (who actually supported the Yanks given that the likes of Pashtun's Taliban didn't at all like the looks of some woman's liberation movement in their country and their western's inspired talks of "gender equality") to the alleged tender mercies (or otherwise) of the Taliban's high command.

And the worse fate will awaits President Mr Ashraf Ghani, if his army can't protect him from the Taliban, when the US and the rest of Western's forces vacate Kabul. It seems that a shit-storm of the kind Saigon have had to experience in 1975 when the last US forces had to be evacuated from the rooftop of the US's embassy of that city, may be replayed in Kabul. Particularly when the US's forces leave Kabul and if the Afghani's forces are not up to much in-terms of the task of ensuring safety of at least Kabul City and if the Taliban's forces decide to "storm" the city now that the allied forces are out of town.      

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Apophis   
4 hours ago, Khadafi said:

Thats a good idea Apophis but one doomed to fail. The reason for that is that the Taliban and Al-shabaab diffier in their ideological background.  The Taliban is a traditionalist hanafi movemet with pashtun nationaism (pakhtunwali). The Al-shabaab is more inspired by  the Salafi-jihadi narrative, meaing that it lacks Somali nationalism and does not even belive in the concept of a nation state.

 

They belive that our religon condones a perperteful  never ending wars with non muslims.While the Taliban rejected Al-qaedas efoorts to join them the Al-shabaab did so. Why? A somali culture  with a inferority complex to arabs probably led to them join Al-qaeda despite that they would not get anthing by joining them.

 

Splinter groups might defect or negotiate but will take a while for them to emerge.

 

 

 

They are interested in getting power. Their religious claims are just a means to that end. 
 

Plus now they have turned into a mafia type organisation interested in making money and extortion. They don’t have any lofty aims anymore.

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Holac   

The US doesn't care about Alshabab, therefore they would never make a deal with AlQeida/ISIS offshoot. They don't have troops deployed by the thousands there. The Taliban was never a foreign Jihadi group in the sense we define terrorism. Somalia needs to wipe Al-Shabaab out and defeat them like the Tamil Tigers were wiped out. No other solution. 

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Oodweyne   
25 minutes ago, Holac said:

The US doesn't care about Alshabab, therefore they would never make a deal with AlQeida/ISIS offshoot. They don't have troops deployed by the thousands there. The Taliban was never a foreign Jihadi group in the sense we define terrorism. Somalia needs to wipe Al-Shabaab out and defeat them like the Tamil Tigers were wiped out. No other solution. 

Holac,

I genuinely agree with that. And do so in all points of it. Hence, you need a government that from the first day they arrive in power and in Villa Somalia says that from now on till the last days we remain in power, which is the four years we are likely to have in the calendar, we will not be doing anything else other than security first, security second, and security third.

And in fact we wont be needing too many minsters in this government, but basically all we need is a "government of national security" that go after these murdering and extortionist bastards in whatever region, town, village, and hamlet, they are hiding themselves in. And we will not rest from our task till we clear them off from the face of the earth and defeat them in so open of a way. 

Hence, if there is no government with that kind ballsy approach to these cancerous misfits, then, expect every four years a new government in Somalia to come-in and duly proceed to waste its time without doing much against these malignant internal forces within Somalia.  

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A perfect description of te situation from Anadolu.

 

The region, which has long been a victim of the Great Game, has captivated and mesmerized the world for centuries.

The bravery, drive for freedom, and zest of the inhabitants divided into innumerable tribes, has punished the British, led to the dismemberment of the Soviet Union and taught bitter lessons to the U.S.

There may be no medals for those who took on these superpowers, but their stories are still remembered around campfires every evening in the majestic Hindu Kush mountains.

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