Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One way out of Bush's war

POLITICS: Behind Cautious Signal, a Decision for Afghan Peace Talks
By Gareth Porter*

KABUL, Jan 26, 2010 (IPS) - Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's very cautiously-worded support for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban leadership in an interview published Monday is only the first public signal of a policy decision by the Barack Obama administration to support a political settlement between the Hamid Karzai regime and the Taliban, an official of McChrystal's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command has revealed in an interview with IPS.

Speaking to the Financial Times, McChrystal couched his position on negotiations in terms of an abstract support for negotiated settlements of wars, saying, "I believe that a political solution to all conflicts is the inevitable outcome." The ISAF commander avoided a direct answer to the question of whether the Taliban could play a role in a future Afghan government.

When pressed by the interviewer on the issue, McChrystal would only say that "any Afghan can play a role if they focus on the future and not the past."

The ISAF official, who spoke with IPS on condition that he would not be named, was much more candid about the centrality of peace negotiations with the Taliban leadership in the Obama administration's strategy in Afghanistan and about the understanding of the ISAF command that the Taliban leadership is independent of al Qaeda and is already positioning itself for a political settlement.


Flying Junior said...

We can pray. It sounds as good as we've got. We all knew that Obama was choosing peace when he ordered the surge, right? General cease-fire in effect at all times! Maybe someday Afghanistan could revive its commerce in hashish.

ellroon said...

Pray, and make a LOT of noise. (And blog furiously!)