Obama administration dials up Taliban, gets no answer

posted at 1:01 pm on December 4, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Are we surprised?  The Washington Post reports that the White House wants to restart negotiations with the Taliban for a peace deal in Afghanistan, and with a new if uneasy rapprochement with Pakistan, the time might seem ripe.  The Taliban, however, see the timing somewhat differently:

The Obama administration has launched a post-election push to restart moribund peace talks with the Taliban, despite resistance from the U.S. military, mixed signals from Pakistan and outright refusal by the militants themselves, according to U.S. officials.

Senior White House and State Department officials reiterated the administration’s negotiating position — including its willingness to exchange prisoners with the Taliban — to a reluctant Defense Department at a meeting of national security deputies two weeks ago. …

Relations with Pakistan have slowly improved this year, capped by a hard-won deal to reopen transit points from Pakistan for the resupply of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Both sides have emphasized improvements in counterterrorism coordination, while tacitly ignoring Pakistan’s demand for a stop to U.S. drone strikes in Pakistani territory.

But many in the U.S. military’s command headquarters in Afghanistan remain doubtful of Pakistan’s willingness to use its relationship with the Taliban to help forge a political solution to the war and are reluctant to include Pakistan in any of their planning for the drawdown of U.S. combat forces or for a follow-on military presence after 2014.

As a result, an administration official said, Pakistan has been getting an inconsistent message about how serious the administration is about peace talks and a long-term U.S. military presence in Afghanistan of up to 10,000 troops.

Why wouldn’t the Taliban take us seriously?  Perhaps because we’ve loudly and repeatedly pledged to leave Afghanistan, at least as a potent fighting force, no matter what by the middle of 2014.  The Taliban have fought NATO for eleven years after the US demolished their tyrannical and al-Qaeda-supported government after the 9/11 attacks.  Now they see only two more fighting seasons left between now and the end of American leverage in peace talks.

Why should they sit down and talk under those circumstances?  They would have to agree to recognize the democratic institutions that the US and NATO have propped up for the last decade, as well as the authority of the native security forces that would protect it as the US and NATO leave.  Furthermore, they would also have to accept a US presence in force of 10,000 infidel soldiers.

The Obama administration is right to seek a negotiated end to the war.  Unlike in Iraq, this is a tribal conflict between Pashtuns and everyone else, and all of the tribes of Afghanistan will need to find a way to live with each other for the long run.  However, the US took itself out of position to broker such an agreement with its unilateral timetable for withdrawal.  The Taliban don’t need negotiations; all they need is patience.  They have that in abundance, and Americans lost their patience for this war over the last few years.  The only hope left is that the security forces we’ve trained will be strong enough without us to allow Hamid Karzai to force the Pashtuns to accept a settlement and power sharing along democratic lines.  We are increasingly irrelevant to that outcome.


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is the pic a promo from that movie ?

williampeck1958 on December 4, 2012 at 1:04 PM

“Call us back when you’ve left the country, Barry.”

Drained Brain on December 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM

is the pic a promo from that movie ?

williampeck1958 on December 4, 2012 at 1:04 PM

No, that’s the core cadre for Bark’s new Domestic Security Force.

Bishop on December 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Why should they sit down and talk under those circumstances?

Easy, Obama called.

When the big O calls, you answer and do whatever he says.

Just like the GOP.

Gatsu on December 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

he did say he have more flexibility after the election

/

cmsinaz on December 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

The whole thing has been a disaster. Thousands of young men and women killed for no real reason anymore. Initially it was a bold operation – get in kill those that assisted or took some part in the 9/11 attack. But now we get targeted while training these 8th century pedophiles or building schools…. Just leave, let them rot in their cesspool that is Afghanistan. Alexander the Great couldn’t do it, the Brits couldn’t do it, the Soviets couldn’t do it and neither can we. Not one American dollar or life is worth their “democracy.”

MoreLiberty on December 4, 2012 at 1:09 PM

the US took itself out of position to broker such an agreement with its unilateral timetable for withdrawal

smart power!

cmsinaz on December 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

“with this document we have peace in our time” – obama….errrr Neville Chamberlin.

acyl72 on December 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Isn’t this the same bunch bho/team said wasn’t a problem any longer?
L

letget on December 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

…now… if the Taliban want to play golf!

KOOLAID2 on December 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I have this great idea.

Why don’t we let the Taliban negotiate the fiscal cliff, and let Boehner negotiate peace in Afghanistan?

percysunshine on December 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Obama administration dials up Taliban, gets no answer

Quick… Somebody get Captain Renault on the White courtesy phone… Who could have possibly seen this coming????

L.I.B (Let it burn) Burn baby Burn…

SWalker on December 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Easy, Obama called.

When the big O calls, you answer and do whatever he says.

Just like the GOP.

Gatsu on December 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Which means that the Taliban have more stones than the GOP leadership.

Then again, most everyone has more stones than the GOP leadership.

Bitter Clinger on December 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Time for him to deliver his message:

I lik u…do u lik me?

right2bright on December 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Obama and his brothers, heh.

Welcome to AmeriKa, where the self-made destruction continues, deservedly.

Schadenfreude on December 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I lik u…do u lik me?

right2bright on December 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Heh “lick”, indeed. They so deserve each other. May they destroy reciprocally.

Schadenfreude on December 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Now they see only two more fighting seasons left between now and the end of American leverage in peace talks.

So Obama has the same leverage with the Taliban as the GOP has on the fiscal cliff.

agmartin on December 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

he did say he have more flexibility after the election

/

cmsinaz on December 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I’m kind of surprised that Putin hasn’t attempted to cash that chip in already.

Bitter Clinger on December 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Which means that the Taliban have more stones than the GOP leadership.

Then again, most everyone has more stones than the GOP leadership.

Bitter Clinger on December 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Can’t argue there.

Wish I could though…

Gatsu on December 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Well, the Administration did announce that 10,000 US troops would remain in Afghanistan past 2014.

That’s gonna upset the Taliban timetable.

The Taliban are holding out for a better position…i.e., no US troops at all after 2014, as both Obama and Romney promised prior to the election.

Should have been gone years ago, really, once we decided that war fighting was a bit too messy, and changed our ROE’s to favor the Taliban.

Besides, can you imagine for a moment even that Progressive thug FDR telling Japan or Germany,” Look, guys, we are going to fight you, but we will pull out all of our forces from your AO after December 1944, as we need to spend our money and effort on more pressing matters. But, we will fight you…until 31 December 1944, 1200 GMT. OK?”

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Bitter Clinger on December 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

ditto…

cmsinaz on December 4, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Which means that the Taliban have more stones than the GOP leadership.

Then again, most everyone has more stones than the GOP leadership.

Bitter Clinger on December 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

OUCH.

MelonCollie on December 4, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Relations with Pakistan have slowly improved this year

Really? What happened to the doctor who helped us track BinLaden? Oh wait, he’s in prison for 33 years and we did nothing.

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Prediction – the Taliban has Afghanistan back under their control by mid-2015, and this time they’ll have a seaport in Pakistan.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

We can get a lot more infrastructer built for the Taliban with 2 more fighting seasons left.They can run around playing war,do some small unit probes,sacrifice a few of their clowns,then when we pull out use the new roads and buildings to move the hash and opium safely and in great numbers.It will be easier for them to travel new roads when they start cutting off heads.

docflash on December 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I wonder how dumb Obama is that he can get so many things screwed up at once and still have such a huge ego. A normal person would be looking for a place to hide. When he dies, his brain should be put in a bottle for examination….the sooner, the better!

Deano1952 on December 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

On the issue of the taliban, the bunch that was said to do the killing of four American’s at benghazi, bho is now blaming ‘cable news programs for attacks on rice(the gal who lied and lied) about what happened.

http://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2012/12/04/obama-blames-cable-news-programs-attacks-susan-rice
L

letget on December 4, 2012 at 1:37 PM

When he dies, his brain should be put in a bottle for examination….the sooner, the better!

Deano1952 on December 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Don’t forget to label the bottle Abby Normal… o_O

SWalker on December 4, 2012 at 1:39 PM

We are on pace for about 300 American fatalities this year which is what we had in 2009 when things were getting nasty and it was decided we needed a surge to take control.

Obama loves opening up a dialogue with dictators and evil regimes, but when when it comes to Republicans he shows no interest.

Wigglesworth on December 4, 2012 at 1:39 PM

he’s in prison for 33 years and we did nothing.

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM

His useful life ended when he helped to get Obama re-elected. Now he lives/dies under Obama’s bus.

Obama is the Taliban and Morsi.

Schadenfreude on December 4, 2012 at 1:42 PM

The Taliban just called back.
Their opening position is to take the 10,000 troops out as well.
That is, NO Americans in 2015.

Your turn Mr. President.

Jabberwock on December 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Prediction – the Taliban has Afghanistan back under their control by mid-2015, and this time they’ll have a seaport in Pakistan.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

And slavery, NO women’s rights and scrooming of dead wives, up to 6 hours, like Egypt does.

Enjoy Obama’s Arab and other Spring, heh.

Schadenfreude on December 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM

And slavery, NO women’s rights and scrooming of dead wives, up to 6 hours, like Egypt does.

Enjoy Obama’s Arab and other Spring, heh.

Schadenfreude on December 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I forgot to mention they’ll have 100 or so nuclear weapons.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I have this great idea.

Why don’t we let the Taliban negotiate the fiscal cliff, and let Boehner negotiate peace in Afghanistan?

percysunshine on December 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Thread winner OF THE YEAR!!

Khun Joe on December 4, 2012 at 1:52 PM

The Obama administration is right to seek a negotiated end to the war

Since when negotiating with terrorists is the right thing to do? Do you understand how emboldened the terrorists would be once we leave Afghanistan and they are in control?…

mnjg on December 4, 2012 at 1:53 PM

The Taliban didn’t answer? All that tells me is that Obama screws up even the surrender of the United States. And no liberal can assure me that wasn’t what Obama was trying to do.

Liam on December 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Time for a Mai Thai Summit in Hawaii at Christmas.

Barky: Uh, uhhh, um. Let me be clear. Um. Uh. Aloha Snackbar my brothers!
Mullah Omar: Seriously, WTF?

CorporatePiggy on December 4, 2012 at 2:01 PM

We are increasingly irrelevant to that outcome.

As a group with no understanding of the real situation and strategy of the Mujahedin and Islam at large, you have been irrelevant since day one. And what has been learned since? Absolutely nothing and thanks to your Muslim advisors , you know even less than then and are now not allowed to learn or know or say anything.

Any one paying attention to the terror plots uncovered in America in the past week or so?

BL@KBIRD on December 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM

BL@KBIRD on December 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Terror plots? In the US?

Impossible.

Obama killed Osama.

Al Qaeda has been decimated.

The cable news networks are responsible for the Benghazi fiasco.

And the jihadis are merely an aberration from Islam…most if not all Mohammedans are wonderful, peace loving, guys you’d love to have as neighbors, or even overlords.

This is what the Obama White House has told us.

So it must be true.

Right?

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Barry needs to get those thumbs working on his Blackerry and Twitter @Taliban a sweet deal:

“How much will this cost? Could write u into new stimulus pkg – bo.”

red villain on December 4, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Obama administration dials up Taliban, gets no answer

A caveman can’t do it, apparently.

locomotivebreath1901 on December 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Obama administration dials up Taliban

Well, there’s your problem right there.

The rest of the world went digital a long time ago.

Apparently, the White House is still using rotary.

coldwarrior on December 4, 2012 at 2:27 PM

And they will soon outnumber us and our 10,000 solitaire players (assuming that’s about all the remaining troops will be equipped to accomplish, guard duty : solitaire : sleep : eat : guard duty : solitaire : sleep : eat).

Heck, there goes our “superior firepower” that was supposed to roll over an enemy the Russians couldn’t defeat despite years of trying.

Oh, wait, I forgot, have we declared “victory” yet? Don’t we usually do that before leaving?

IndieDogg on December 4, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Morsi flees palace. See Drudge.

Schadenfreude on December 4, 2012 at 2:41 PM

How do they say “stuff it, Barry” in Pashtun??

landlines on December 4, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Should try the CIA…probably have ‘em on speed dial.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM

The Taliban are just waiting for us to leave. While killing as many US serviceman as they can until then and terrorizing all Afghans who oppose them, to make their takeover in our absence go quicker and more smoothly.

farsighted on December 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM