Taliban: attack before peace negotiations

Taliban: attack ahead of peace talks

Taliban propaganda. Image: Taliban spokesman Zabidullah, Twitter

The Islamist militias attack a military base in Helmand, where U.S. soldiers are also based. Sie drangen darauf, dass die US-Truppen das Land verlassen

The Taliban have their own way of negotiating with very direct means. They demonstrated this one day before the continuation of the "Peace Language" with U.S. representatives in Doha, Qatar this Saturday.

Yesterday morning, they attacked an important military airport in Helmand, where Afghan and U.S. soldiers are stationed, with a disproportionately small force (reportedly 20 fighters). They thus showed that there is no protection from their attacks and that they can strike bosomely – and they thus demonstrated some self-confidence in continuing the talks. Normally, after such a "Strike" be ended.

In the Taliban war propaganda, the fighting at the Shorab military base (on the site of the former Camp Bastion) was not over even after many hours, although the opposing side had long reported that everything was under control. There were also gross differences in casualty figures. The Taliban spokesman reported high casualties even among U.S. troops and contractors. The Voice of America report spoke exclusively of at least 25 deaths among Afghan security forces.

The spokesman of the American troops in Afghanistan announced that there were no casualties among US soldiers. It is not possible to verify this, but any other communication would probably have made the continuation of peace negotiations very difficult.

According to a spokesman for the provincial council in Helmand, the attack, which began early in the morning and lasted several hours, was a disaster for the 215th Corps of the Afghan National Army. This catastrophe obviously does not stop the peace negotiations.

Against US plans for total withdrawal only in 3 to 5 years

The Taliban was keen to deny any weight to the US plans that came to light last week. The Afghan and U.S. armies can expect heavy losses if the withdrawal of the Americans and their allies is prolonged, according to the military message of the suicide bomber attack. The attack was accompanied by a communique from the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", as the Taliban want to call themselves officially.

There it hieb that a plan, according to which it could take five years until the complete withdrawal of international troops, in the eyes of the Taliban is no subject for negotiation. They strongly disagree with such proposals and, as the attack underpins, urge a quicker withdrawal.

The plans of the USA are, according to the New York Times, coordinated with European partners. The newspaper published a report in the middle of the week with some details about the planned withdrawal, sources were several representatives of the USA and European countries. According to this, in the next few months, 7.000 U.S. troops to be withdrawn. Later, the coalition troops were to follow as well. In "three to five" all foreign troops should be withdrawn by then.

Until then, the tasks are to be shared. The troops of the international coalition, including the Bundeswehr, are supposed to provide training for Afghan security forces. U.S. troops are responsible for anti-terrorism operations. The IS and al-Qaeda are the main adversaries mentioned. However, the attack on the Shorab military base demonstrates that in reality, peace negotiations or not, the main adversary remains the same, namely the Taliban.

Trusting the Taliban?

The negotiators sitting at the table with the U.S. representatives are another part of a bizarre reality. They include people who were imprisoned by the U.S. as extremists in the infamous Guantanamo detention center and members of the former Taliban government, which made headlines with excessive human rights abuses.

The question is how far these negotiators can be trusted when they promise that there will be "the next time" becomes better. The price of peace negotiations is that the Taliban will participate in the future government. It is hard to imagine how this could work. The Taliban insisted that the current negotiations be conducted without representatives of the Afghan government.

The reason given in reports is that the Taliban consider the government illegitimate and do not accept it. This raises the question of which government the Taliban would accept on their side and what weight the non-Taliban side would have "may"?

This is quite disturbing when you consider how the Taliban’s bargaining power is already in question, given that they have enforced the requirement that they will only enter into negotiations if the Kabul government remains out of the picture. In the months before, the U.S. leadership had proclaimed that it had a military strategy that would force the Taliban to the negotiating table.

But the reality is quite different. At such "Trivia" shows the gross debacle.

The question of whether the Taliban will or will be able to keep promises made in negotiations with the United States is addressed by Afghanistan insiders in the Long War Journal with "no" answered. The promises include that the Taliban will not tolerate terrorist groups such as al-Qaida or IS in Afghanistan in the future government – "no threat will be posed to other countries from Afghanistan" ("no threat will be posed to other countries from Afghanistan").

Or that they treated women well ..

Women, several hundred of whom met at a rally last week, are grossly worried that this promise will not be kept. If the footage found at Long War Journal is based on incidents of the last few years, it is cause for grave concern. However, one need not even refer to this brutal kind of stony Sharia interpretation to fear a renewed regression to medieval conditions.

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