withdrawal

Karzai, Taliban Begin Angling for Afghanistan Dominance, Confirming Failure of US Mission

The Ides of March has not been kind to the US mission in Afghanistan. Despite Barack Obama and David Cameron putting their best spin on the situation yesterday and claiming that NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan will not be accelerated by the recent atrocities perpetrated by US forces, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban both took moves today indicating that they are now angling for dominance in an Afghanistan that is soon to be rid of occupation by western troops. These moves by Karzai and the Taliban appear to me to be signalling that they independently have come to the conclusion that the COIN strategy of “training” Afghan security forces to take over by 2014 as NATO forces are drawn down is no longer viable.

Karzai’s move is to call for western troops to withdraw from their smaller operating outposts in villages back onto large bases. From the Washington Post:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded Thursday that the United States pull back from combat outposts and confine its troops to military bases, an apparent response to Sunday’s shooting rampage by a U.S. staff sergeant.

/snip/

Foreign troops in Afghanistan must withdraw from village outposts and return to large NATO bases, the president’s statement said. Karzai also said he wants Afghan troops to assume primary responsibility for security nationwide by the end of next year, ahead of the time frame U.S. commanders have endorsed.

The Post then goes on to play into the hands of the Taliban (see below) by painting Karzai as powerless to affect US actions in Afghanistan:

Karzai does not have the authority to enforce a pullback of foreign troops, however. And the United States has rebuffed previous demands that it halt night raids, ban private security companies and immediately transfer control of prisons to the Afghan government.

Virtually simultaneously with Karzai’s demand for withdrawal from villages, the Taliban announced that they have ended their preliminary talks with the US that many hoped would lead to a negotiated end to hostilities in Afghanistan. From Reuters:

U.S. and Taliban negotiators were believed to have had preliminary contacts aimed at establishing an office for the Taliban in the Gulf state of Qatar to launch peace negotiations.

“The Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend all talks with Americans taking place in Qatar from (Thursday) onwards until the Americans clarify their stance on the issues concerned and until they show willingness in carrying out their promises instead of wasting time,” the group said in a statement.

In a clear signal that the Taliban believe US influence in Afghanistan is about to end and that they are in a struggle with Karzai’s government for future control of the country, they attacked Karzai as a US puppet. Returning to the Post article: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @AdamWeinstein: FSU student officer says student body president & VP (both frat leaders) physically intimidated her into resigning http:…
3mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Fine print of Maine court order says Kaci Hickox must display large scarlet E on all clothing.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Looks like the Hoke-y Pokey dance is about over for the Michigan Men. (h/t @PhilPerspective)
15mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @McMurphyESPN: Dave Brandon is resigning as Michigan’s AD, source told @ESPN. Press conference this afternoon
16mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @adamsmithtimes: Fla's 'Cocaine Congressman' Radel has record expunged http://t.co/YpfL7sAb3P
22mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Is that as bad as electing a torturer to Congress? MT @AllenWest: Continuing stupidity; we release GITMO detainees who then join ISIS. #tcot
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Laurapitter Couldn't get Gul Rahman's testimony, or Manadel al-Jamadi's. @charlie_savage @joshgerstein @Krhawkins5
39mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @carolrosenberg: Update: #USMC attorney sees no "legitimate reason" to censor guard gender, takes swipe at #Gitmo court transparency. ht…
45mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @imillhiser @JoshMBlackman @TPM @sahilkapur Yeah, I am not seeing that after Noel Canning. Plus Obama not that in your face aggressive.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Kind of disappointed the farrier wasn't in costume to trim our horses' feet this morning.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031