Sunday, June 11, 2017

Renewed Calls for Afghan Peace Talks

Renewed Calls for Peace Talks. Recent territorial gains by the Taliban have caused many observers to conclude that there will not be a military victory against the insurgents. By some estimates the Taliban now control over 40% of the countryside - mostly rural areas. High profile attacks such as the recent bombing at the gates of the 'Green Zone' causing the death of over 150 people and the killing of over 130 Afghan National Army soldiers at Camp Shaheen in northern Afghanistan cast doubt on the ANDSF's ability to provide security to Afghanistan. The continued use of sanctuaries in Pakistan by insurgents, incompetent and ineffective senior leadership of the Afghan police and Army, and rampant corruption at all levels of government leads many commentators to believe that the security situation will not change for the better. There are now renewed calls and pressure for the Afghan government to engage in negotiations with the Taliban and other insurgent groups to end the conflict.

New Leader for High Peace Council. President Ghani has appointed Karim Khalili as the new head fo the Afghanistan High Peace Council. Khalili is a former vice-president. The question remains whether Ghani will give the HPC a real role of if this is just another symbolic appointment.

June 4,2017, "German Foreign Minister Gabriel calls for peace talks with Taliban", Deutsche Welle.

June 6, 2017. "Mattis: Taliban Can't Be Part of a Political Solution in Afghanistan", The Weekly Standard. The statements of SECDEF Jim Mattis are interesting. Is this a break from previous U.S. positions that a negotiated peace is the only way to end the conflict? Hmmmm.

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