Afghan fighting - the latest reports.

that was written before it was official and was really referring to what little has been made of the tentative peace process.
Even after the story broke the BBC only listed it beneath a couple of corona virus stories and a report about the home office chief civil servant resigning.
7 hours after the news was released and it’s the 9th story down on the BBC.
 

Poppycock

Old-Salt
And the hard work is yet to start. Much has been made of how it will all be fine when it turns to “intra- Afghan” talks. The elections are the epitome of an Afghan led,Afghan owned process and they’ve made a complete balls up of that on every occasion.
I think the hard (diplomatic) work has just been completed - Trump somehow got Mike Pompeo to witness the signing a peace agreement with the Taliban! Doesn't matter if it goes array, Pompeo acting as a witness for anything a Taliban commander did is brilliant - cheers me up just thinking about it :biggrin:

As for the intra-Afghan talks God only knows what'll happen there on the NUG / Kabul side, but 'President' Ghani first announcing and then cancelling his inauguration ceremony (on VP Pence's request I think) suggests to me someone has tossed the carrot aside and got out a BFO stick.

A long way to go yet, and it'll probably get very messy (or deserted, i.e. next flight to Dubai) with the administration we left in charge, but I remain optimistic. Obviously loads of players in this but I guess Trump & Khalilzad deserve most of the credit - I take my hat off to them both.

Interesting next bit is how Khalilzad will deal with Saudi sponsored Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, an arch-enemy of the Taliban but also Osama bin Laden's best mate too. The 2019 photo of them both below looks like an ambush photo-op on Sayyaf's part, which indicates how much influence Khalilzad must wield at the moment.

Sayyaf's Afghan-bios entry linked here: Database

sayyaf peasess.jpg
 
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Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
I dont for a minute believe that the Taliban will give up their hold on the Country,
but hopefully all US and UK troops will be well out of the way when it all implodes and they go back to doing what they do best
 
I think the hard (diplomatic) work has just been completed - Trump somehow got Mike Pompeo to sign a peace agreement with the Taliban! Doesn't matter if it goes array, Pompeo co-signing something with a Taliban commander is brilliant - cheers me up just thinking about it :biggrin:

As for the intra-Afghan talks God only knows what'll happen there on the NUG / Kabul side, but 'President' Ghani first announcing and then cancelling his inauguration ceremony (on VP Pence's request I think) suggests to me someone has tossed the carrot aside and got out a BFO stick.

A long way to go yet, and it'll probably get very messy (or deserted, i.e. next flight to Dubai) with the administration we left in charge, but I remain optimistic. Obviously loads of players in this but I guess Trump & Khalilzad deserve most of the credit - I take my hat off to them both.

Interesting next bit is how Khalilzad will deal with Saudi sponsored Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, an arch-enemy of the Taliban but also Osama bin Laden's best mate too. The 2019 photo of them both below looks like an ambush photo-op on Sayyaf's part, which indicates how much influence Khalilzad must wield at the moment.

Sayyaf's Afghan-bios entry linked here: Database

View attachment 452905
Mike Pompeo didn’t sign, or co-sign any deal.
 
The current series of Homeland has this 'peace deal' as a story line. In their version the Pakistani's are the bad guys and are intent on destroying the deal, unless it works in Pakistans favour.
 
The current series of Homeland has this 'peace deal' as a story line. In their version the Pakistani's are the bad guys and are intent on destroying the deal, unless it works in Pakistans favour.
Lots of celebrations in Pakistan last night - waving of Taliban flags etc.

I’m not sure an end to the conflict - or Western involvement in it - will actually be good for Pakistan in the long term. The coalition has been reliant on Pakistan for logistic access and has generally tried to moderate Pakistan’s behaviour in order to try and make them not totally unhelpful. This despite Pakistan being pretty distasteful. And end to the conflict will probably lead to a cooling of Western relations with Pakistan meaning they have to fall back to their only other friends - China. The Chinese are allies but only so far as they need Pakistan - their loathing for them is pretty open. Hopefully life become pretty uncomfortable
 

Poppycock

Old-Salt
Cancel the cancellation of combat ops - it's all back on again! (maybe)

Primary Taliban aim in Doha was to secure the release of 5000-Taliban POWs - Kabul's President Ghani appears to have cancelled that

 
Cancel the cancellation of combat ops - it's all back on again! (maybe)

Primary Taliban aim in Doha was to secure the release of 5000-Taliban POWs - Kabul's President Ghani appears to have cancelled that

get someone to drive a warrior through the wall of the prison. Seemed straightforward enough last time.
 
All we need are helicopters evacuating the embassy staff. Withdrawal an inevitable outcome I think.
The sooner the better.
Gtfo I say. A pox on the place.
 
Cancel the cancellation of combat ops - it's all back on again! (maybe)

Primary Taliban aim in Doha was to secure the release of 5000-Taliban POWs - Kabul's President Ghani appears to have cancelled that

What happens when only 2 of the parties are involved in a 3-way conversation.

'The U.S.-Taliban deal sealed on Saturday requires Afghan parties to the conflict to open direct negotiations on or around March 10 to agree on a nationwide permanent cease-fire and future power-sharing. However, some of the steps required to be taken in the run-up to the dialogue include the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners from Afghan jails and of 1,000 government security forces, who are held by the insurgents.

'The Taliban have so far refused to acknowledge the Ghani administration as a legitimate government or to engage with it directly. As far they are concerned, they say they have settled the prisoner release issue with the Americans. “We have decided the issue of our 5,000 prisoners with the Americans. They have promised in the agreement that those prisoners will be released before the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations. For us, this issue is settled,” said Khairullah Khairkhwah, a senior member of the Taliban negotiation team.

'An Afghan delegation from Kabul arrived in Doha ahead of the signing ceremony to discuss prisoner releases and other issues with the Taliban but members of the insurgent group refused to meet them.'


 
What happens when only 2 of the parties are involved in a 3-way conversation.

'The U.S.-Taliban deal sealed on Saturday requires Afghan parties to the conflict to open direct negotiations on or around March 10 to agree on a nationwide permanent cease-fire and future power-sharing. However, some of the steps required to be taken in the run-up to the dialogue include the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners from Afghan jails and of 1,000 government security forces, who are held by the insurgents.

'The Taliban have so far refused to acknowledge the Ghani administration as a legitimate government or to engage with it directly. As far they are concerned, they say they have settled the prisoner release issue with the Americans. “We have decided the issue of our 5,000 prisoners with the Americans. They have promised in the agreement that those prisoners will be released before the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations. For us, this issue is settled,” said Khairullah Khairkhwah, a senior member of the Taliban negotiation team.

'An Afghan delegation from Kabul arrived in Doha ahead of the signing ceremony to discuss prisoner releases and other issues with the Taliban but members of the insurgent group refused to meet them.'


This was always going to happen. The US don’t have any Taliban prisoners so can’t release any - whereas GIRoA have loads. The US could bully GIRoA into releasing them - but that would hardly help ahead of IANs.

So it’s an early test.
 
:( (No) surprise! At least there was a few days respite.

'The Taliban said on Monday (local time) they were resuming offensive operations against Afghan security forces, ending the partial truce that preceded the signing of a deal between the insurgents and Washington.

'The declaration comes only a day after President Ashraf Ghani said he would continue the partial truce at least until talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban kick-off, supposedly on March 10. It ran for one week ahead of the signing of the historic accord in Doha on Saturday, and continued over the weekend.'


 
:( (No) surprise! At least there was a few days respite.

'The Taliban said on Monday (local time) they were resuming offensive operations against Afghan security forces, ending the partial truce that preceded the signing of a deal between the insurgents and Washington.

'The declaration comes only a day after President Ashraf Ghani said he would continue the partial truce at least until talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban kick-off, supposedly on March 10. It ran for one week ahead of the signing of the historic accord in Doha on Saturday, and continued over the weekend.'


I think this is because of Ghani not releasing prisoners.
 

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