Truce with Taliban


Verified SOF
Jan 15, 2008

Truce with Taliban a sign of hope

AFGHANISTAN announced its first provincial ceasefire agreement with the Taliban yesterday as the British Government renewed its backing for Northern Ireland-style talks with the group in an effort to end the conflict.

The truce was agreed on Saturday in the remote north-western Badhis province, near the border with Turkmenistan, the presidential spokesman, Seyamak Herawi, told Reuters.

He said Afghanistan wanted to make similar deals with the Taliban in other parts of the country before the presidential elections on August 20.

‘‘As long as the ceasefire holds, the Government does not have the intention to attack the Taliban [in Badhis]. And the Taliban can also take part in the elections.’’

The announcement came as Britain’s Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, stepped up pressure on the Afghan Government to undermine the insurgency by holding talks with elements of the Taliban.

Mr Miliband said the insurgency was divided, many of those fighting against international forces doing so for pragmatic reasons rather than ideological ones.

Speaking yesterday at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, he said the Afghan authorities should offer incentives to persuade insurgents to switch sides. He called for Britain’s NATO allies to take up a greater share of the military burdenin Afghanistan.

Before Mr Miliband’s address, Britain’s International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, restated Britain’s desire for talks with the Taliban.

He conceded that it was a ‘‘difficult message’’ to convey when so many British troops were being killed in action.

Mr Alexander told BBC radio from Afghanistan: ‘‘I think people recognise from the experience of places like Northern Ireland that it is necessary to put military pressure on the Taliban while at the same time holding out the prospect that there can be a political process that can follow, whereby those that are willing to renunciate violence can follow a different path.’’

Mr Miliband said the insurgents were being squeezed by military operations on either side of the Durand Line separating Afghanistan from Pakistan. ‘‘We need to help the Afghan Government exploit the opportunity, with a more coherent effort to fragment the various elements of the insurgency, and turn those who can be reconciled to live within the Afghan constitution.

‘‘The Afghan Government needs effective grassroots initiatives to offer an alternative to fight or flight for the foot soldiers of the insurgency. Essentially this means a clear route for former insurgents to return to their villages and go back to farming the land, or a role for some of them within the legitimate Afghan security forces.’’

The Foreign Office Minister, Bill Rammell, told the House of Commons last year that Britain would support Afghan efforts to reach out to Taliban elements who were ‘‘genuinely prepared’’ to leave the insurgency and engage in the political process.

July has been the deadliest month for NATO since operations began in 2001.

Guardian News & Media,Agence France-Presse
It's a good strategy to do this to fragment them more, but in the end I don't see this as anything more than the Taliban using this as a bid for time to regroup, rearm, and repair for another round of fighting.

Mr Miliband said the insurgency was divided, many of those fighting against international forces doing so for pragmatic reasons rather than ideological ones.

I wonder when the media will allow us to know that the TB are one of several groups we're fighting here. At least they mentioned the above, I guess that's something.

When Afghans aren't worried about their safety or about starving the insurgency will dry up.

This will be interesting to see how it plays out. Maimana is to the north of Badghis and Herat to the south. Will it spread and what will the results be?
Yea but u also gotta worry that despite a improvement in security and not worrying about starvation, the Taliban are majority Pashtun, and that sorta tribal and ethnicity based identity, tradition, and loyalty is not gonna go away that easily or be broken as easily with alot of the Pashtun tribes, especially in the south where Marines have gone in mass recently. Gonna be a long, tough COIN fight to be sure.

Truce....hell they should of just laid waste to the bastard right after having these "truce" talks. I think the brits are going soft on us personally either that or their fighting muscles are fatigued. But maybe I could just be talking out of my ass :p
It's better than immediately after 9/11 where it was thought there was no-one to negotiate with.