SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other U.S. GWOT > OEF - Afghanistan

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-07-2012   #181
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Reintegrating Taliban

An optimistic comment from ICSR:http://icsr.info/blog/Reintegrating-Taliban
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012   #182
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Negotiations with Taliban - Myth and Reality

Hat tip to Watandost for the pointer to an intriguing Indian commentary, that opens with:
Quote:
The Taliban have reportedly agreed to open a representative office in Qatar. What is unclear is who are these ‘Taliban’. There is deafening silence in Pakistan, which should have been bestir with excitement that a defining moment has been reached in the Afghan endgame. The silence needs to be interpreted.
Not seen this leader being mentioned:
Quote:
The crunch time comes when the Taliban’s former commander-in-chief Mullah Mohammed Fazl arrives in Qatar on a long tiring flight with mid-air refuelling from Guantanamo Bay.
Timing is important, especially for Europeans partners:
Quote:
What is crystal clear is that the Barack Obama administration is in tearing hurry to take peace parleys to some visible point by the time the NATO summit is held in Chicago in May. Or else, it will become increasingly difficult to persuade the Europeans to take any more interest in the war at such a time when their own house is on fire.
Link:http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakuma...oost-in-qatar/
__________________
davidbfpo

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-13-2012 at 11:32 AM. Reason: This was a stand-alone post and merged today
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2012   #183
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Perspectives and prospects of negotiating with the Taliban

Hat tip to Open Democracy a comment by an ex-Northern Alliance that has some points, which IIRC have been seen here before:
Quote:
There seems to be an understanding that to be sustainable and to enjoy popular support, talks or agreements with the Taliban need to happen under several conditions.

Firstly, the Taliban have to be fully disarmed, just like other major militias after the international intervention in 2001.
Secondly, the Taliban must break all relations with Al Qaeda.
Lastly, they must accept and embrace the constitution of Afghanistan to protect basic political freedoms and diversity in the country.
Without a full acceptance of these strict but essential terms, a political settlement that has the capacity to last cannot come to fruition.
Quote:
What is likely to follow power-sharing with the Taliban has thus potential to put enormous economic and political pressure on the country and turn the Afghans further away from their government. In fact, political unrest and dissatisfaction within political circles as well as on the streets of Afghanistan may escalate into another civil war.
Ends with:
Quote:
However, it has to be universally understood that a rushed and compromised settlement with the Taliban is not the solution. Until the real backbone of the Taliban – which is, at the moment, in Pakistan – is broken and the Afghan government is strong enough to enforce conditionality, negotiations and power-sharing with the Taliban are doomed to become a new quick-fix with enormous risks for the Afghans and the rest of the world.
Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensec...g-with-taliban

From my faraway, safe viewpoint neither of the last two points, breaking the backbone of the Taliban or a strong GIRoA simply will not happen. As exhaustion with Afghanistan sets in, within Western electorates, partly matched by a reduced military role, but with a steady future flow of aid envisaged some of the assumptions made by think tanks and governments appear to be "leaps of faith".

There is a SWJ article on an IISS review of Afghanistan's future, which illustrates the assumptions made and what is likely to happen:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/ade...015-and-beyond
__________________
davidbfpo

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-13-2012 at 11:46 AM.
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012   #184
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Parsing the Taliban’s Strategic Intentions: short paper

Hat tip to Kings of War blog for providing a link to a new paper ' Lessons Learnt: “Islamic, Independent, Perfect and Strong”: Parsing the Taliban’s Strategic Intentions, 2001-2011' by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn. Note the duo have recently published a book (see Post 111 Talking to the Taliban:an elusive peace in Afghanistan).

It is a very short paper and the Executive Summary states:
Quote:
This paper aims to answer the question of what the Taliban wants. In doing so it illuminates some important points about the Taliban as an organisation – it is neither a unified nor a static organisation. The fluidity of people of influence within the Taliban, the shifts in views that can be seen to be core to it, and the mystery surrounding its figurehead, Mullah Omar, are all aspects that can only usefully be brought out by experiences gleaned within Afghanistan. This paper provides an historical context to the current position, and then goes onto explore some of the Taliban’s strategic goals, offering some valuable context in which future negotiations with the Taliban might occur.
Link:http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/About/Policy/D...rntTaliban.pdf
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2012   #185
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default The truth about Taliban 'reintegration'

A newspaper report which is not unexpected:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...tegration.html

A taster:
Quote:
New figures have now shown that over the last 18 months the "reintegration" scheme which Britain has funded with £7 million has attracted only 19 militants in Helmand province, where British troops are fighting.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2012   #186
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,521
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
A newspaper report which is not unexpected:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...tegration.html

A taster:
Reports like this should not surprise anyone.

Reintegration of resistance fighters without reconciliation of the revolutionary drivers of conflict between the Northern Alliance government in power, and the Taliban government in exile is a well intentioned waste of time and money.

We design and implement so many tactical programs in an effort to push success from the bottom up, but revolution is driven from the top down, so all we can do at the bottom is suppress/mitigate symptoms. Time for a refresh on the strategic design.
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2012   #187
Kevin23
Council Member
 
Kevin23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 215
Default Taliban suspends talks with the US

The Taliban has announced that is is suspending talks with the US and the government in Kabul.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...143689#s777097
Kevin23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2012   #188
82redleg
Council Member
 
82redleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mother Sill
Posts: 220
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin23 View Post
The Taliban has announced that is is suspending talks with the US and the government in Kabul.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...143689#s777097
Did anyone believe that they were really serious in the first place?
82redleg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2012   #189
Kevin23
Council Member
 
Kevin23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 215
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
Did anyone believe that they were really serious in the first place?
82redleg,

In my personal IMO no not really.

However, even though I'm not schooled on the exact details of Afpak/ I haven't been to the region or dealed with the Taliban in any capacity. But looking at things from the Taliban POV, I figure they did have at least some incentive to seriously talk to the Coalition/Afghan Government. Because if we were willing to consider talking to them in the first place, the Taliban could only gain from such an exercise. Even though I think they were unlikely to follow through on their end of the bargain/give anything back in return.

Kind of along the lines of how North Vietnam benefited from talks with the US/S. Vietnam back in the late 60's/early 70's.
Kevin23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2012   #190
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Current peace talks unlikely to build peace - ICG

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den for a pointer to an ICG report, 48 pgs. long:http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/F...fghanistan.pdf

Circling the Lion's Den summary:
Quote:
...negotiations could even lead to further destabilisation of the country. The Afghan security forces will find it hard to fill the power vacuum following the withdrawal of foreign troops and growing political differences within the country will undermine the prospects for peace. The ICG recommends the appointment of a UN-mandated mediation team and the adoption of a more realistic approach to resolving the conflict.
The report says President Karzai's government and its international backers have adopted a "market bazaar" approach to negotiations: "Bargains are being cut with any and all comers, regardless of their political relevance or ability to influence outcomes. Far from being Afghan-led, the negotiating agenda has been dominated by Washington’s desire to obtain a decent interval between the planned U.S. troop drawdown and the possibility of another bloody chapter in the conflict."

The ICG report adds that efforts to start negotiations have been half-hearted and haphazard, stoking fears among ethnic minorities, civil society and women: "A thorough reassessment of Karzai’s national reconciliation policy, the role of the High Peace Council and the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) is urgently needed. The program has faced staunch resistance from local security officials mistrustful of participants’ motives, and its impact has been minimal at best."
Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....-to-build.html
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012   #191
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default

From an earlier post (No. 184) and edited down: ' Lessons Learnt: “Islamic, Independent, Perfect and Strong”: Parsing the Taliban’s Strategic Intentions, 2001-2011' by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn.

The authors spoke at IISS in February and a podcast (1hr 2 mins)is on:http://www.iiss.org/events-calendar/2012-events-archive/february-2012/the-myth-of-the-taliban-al-qaeda-merger/
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012   #192
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Afghan peace negotiator Arsala Rahmani shot dead

A BBC News report:
Quote:
Arsala Rahmani was a former Taliban minister and a key member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, which leads Afghan efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban.....Mr Rahmani was responsible for the committee within the peace council that considers the release of Taliban prisoners from Bagram and other Afghan prisons....The Taliban have denied involvement in the killing of Mr Rahmani.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18049265
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2012   #193
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Quetta Shura update

Must have missed these developments:
Quote:
Abdul Ghani Baradar, who, together with Motasim, was later arrested by the Pakistan military. What lay behind this was the fact that Motasim was prepared to consider negotiations to end the war in Afghanistan, whilst Baradar was more reticent. Both men were released last year following pressure from the United States and soon after Motasim was shot several times in Karachi by members of the Taliban.
Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....ions-list.html
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012   #194
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7,307
Default Lessons from my talks with the Taliban

Anatol Lieven has been in Dubai and has some surprising lessons:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/45b83f50-d...44feabdc0.html

Like:
Quote:
perhaps the most striking thing to emerge from our discussions was that three of our four interviewees said the Taliban would consider agreeing to US bases and military advisers in Afghanistan after 2014 – something that contradicts every previous Taliban statement.

They want a strong national army – even one trained by the US – to hold Afghanistan together, prevent a return to warlord rule and deter interference by neighbours.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012   #195
TheCurmudgeon
Council Member
 
TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 774
Default A united Talian?

Isn't it a bit optimistic to assume that the Taliban is that united to accept keeping the US in the country after 2014 considering the recent assassination of Arsala Rahmani?
__________________
"I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
---
TheCurmudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012   #196
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,521
Default

They are arguably "united" in their opposition to what exists, but I am sure there are conservatively dozens of competing concepts for what should replace it.

Revolution is not about what comes next, it is about what exists now. Fix the current and one need not worry so much about the next.

But it is not ours to "fix" and GIRoA is quite happy to stay just the way they are, with their little Northern Alliance monopoly and a constitution that consolidates all patronage in Kabul, with the US led coalition protecting this unsustainable model and fueling it with cash.

It is not in GIRoA's interest currently to reconcile. I suspect that will change if we seriously cut them off and leave, but by then it will be too late.
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012   #197
TheCurmudgeon
Council Member
 
TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 774
Default No good fix ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
Revolution is not about what comes next, it is about what exists now. Fix the current and one need not worry so much about the next.
I am almost certain there can be no "fix" for the current government. They have no legitimacy and our current doctrine ain't getting them any closer.

That is the primary advantage of the Taliban. Religion offers them an instant and universally recognized form of legitimacy. They will always have that advantage and the current GIRoA has nothing to compare with that.
__________________
"I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
---
TheCurmudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012   #198
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,165
Default

Quote:
Revolution is not about what comes next, it is about what exists now. Fix the current and one need not worry so much about the next.
Bob, food for thought, this idea is still rough, but it was pointed out by some astute historians that the American Revolution happened long before the conflict with the Mother Ship England. The actual revolution was a series of memes, core beliefs, social/poltical norms that emerged, and all these eventually ran into the "state" and triggered a conflict. The fight was NOT the revolution, that was the war, which was the result of the revolution that already happened. This is a paradigm shift from our doctrinal view of revolution.

Not sure what this implies for Afghanistan. Is the Taliban really a revolutionary force, or are they just a resilient system that will eventually oust the foreign system we established and rule Afghanistan again because there was no real revolution in Afghanistan in the first place?

Last edited by Bill Moore; 07-28-2012 at 10:19 PM. Reason: critical correction, added NOT
Bill Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012   #199
Surferbeetle
Council Member
 
Surferbeetle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
... it was pointed out by some astute historians that the American Revolution happened long before the conflict with the Mother Ship England. The actual revolution was a series of memes, core beliefs, social/poltical norms that emerged, and all these eventually ran into the "state" and triggered a conflict. The fight was the revolution, that was the war, which was the result of the revolution that already happened. This is a paradigm shift from our doctrinal view of revolution.

Not sure what this implies for Afghanistan. Is the Taliban really a revolutionary force, or are they just a resilient system that will eventually oust the foreign system we established and rule Afghanistan again because there was no real revolution in Afghanistan in the first place?
What's old is new again...

'There are not enough armies in all of the world which can kill an idea whose time has come.' Victor Hugo
__________________
Sapere Aude
Surferbeetle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012   #200
jcustis
Council Member
 
jcustis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: SOCAL
Posts: 2,043
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
Bob, food for thought, this idea is still rough, but it was pointed out by some astute historians that the American Revolution happened long before the conflict with the Mother Ship England. The actual revolution was a series of memes, core beliefs, social/poltical norms that emerged, and all these eventually ran into the "state" and triggered a conflict. The fight was the revolution, that was the war, which was the result of the revolution that already happened. This is a paradigm shift from our doctrinal view of revolution.

Not sure what this implies for Afghanistan. Is the Taliban really a revolutionary force, or are they just a resilient system that will eventually oust the foreign system we established and rule Afghanistan again because there was no real revolution in Afghanistan in the first place?
Absolutely, and unfortunately too many competing interests are preventing policy-makers from seeing this fact as clearly as they should.
jcustis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
afghanistan, negoitation, reconciliation, taliban

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Afghanistan: Canadians in Action SWJED OEF - Afghanistan 83 03-15-2014 02:32 PM
Multi-National Force-Iraq Commander’s COIN Guidance SWJED Who is Fighting Whom? How and Why? 10 06-24-2008 03:34 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7. ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation