8 years ago
Regular readers of The Captain’s Journal know what we believe regarding negotiations with the Taliban. Some indigenous poor may be stripped away from the hard core Taliban, but the hard core Taliban cannot be reconciled. We needn’t rehearse this issue again. But there is a recent analysis on negotiating with the Taliban that has both an important and related observation.
The premise underlying negotiations is that the insurgency can be short-circuited by splitting commanders who are fighting because of grievances like the civilian deaths in U.S. military operations away from true believers loyal to Taliban founder and Osama bin Laden ally Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Other experts have serious doubts. They say Omar and the leaders of associated militant groups believe that President Hamid Karzai’s government has lost popular support and they are winning against U.S.-led military forces. So long as they are of that view, there can be no peace, these experts say.
“Afghanistan was created by God for this kind of guerrilla fighting. It has high mountains and long valleys and narrow trails,” said Wahid Mughzdah, a former anti-Soviet fighter-turned-political analyst who worked in the Foreign Ministry during the former Taliban regime. “Al-Qaida and the Taliban understand that America doesn’t have a chance of success in this country.”
Further, he said, the Taliban are no longer only concerned with imposing Islamic rule on Afghanistan, but have adopted al-Qaida’s aim of staging Islamist revolutions throughout Asia and the Middle East.
We’ve already dealt with the evolution of the thinking of the Tehrik-i-Taliban to a much more global perspective in Resurgence of Taliban and al Qaeda, something Nicholas Schmidle calls the next-gen Taliban. Until now The Captain’s Journal has always been careful to distinguish between the Tehrik-i-Taliban of Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban led by Mullah Omar, emphasizing that the globalist perspective had thoroughly set in to the TTP world view, but somewhat less so for the Afghan Taliban.
Some may object that Wahid Mughzdah is exaggerating, but if so, for what purpose? In either case, this data point suggests that there is less difference between the Tehrik-i-Taliban and the Afghan Taliban than we thought. It is only a single data point, but it is an important one. File this away with the label “very important” and tag it to make it easily search-able for instant recall.