Donald Trump has reportedly ordered American envoys to seek direct talks with the Taliban to end the country’s longest ever war, in a major shift after years of US diplomatic policy on the conflict.
The change in White House stance rolls back a long-held position that any talks must be led and controlled by the Afghan government.
The White House has now told diplomats to seek initial talks with the militant insurgent movement to try to kick start a wider peace process to end the 17-year-long conflict, the New York Times reported.
Bear in mind the initial “report” was in the New York Times.
As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the Taliban commanders and allied drug lords who supplied more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin — including a growing amount fueling the nascent opioid crisis in the United States.
The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ruinous spread of narcotics around the world and a new — and urgent — approach to confronting ongoing frustrations with the Taliban, whose drug profits were financing the growing insurgency and killing American troops. But the Obama administration’s deputy chief of mission in Kabul, citing political concerns, ordered the plan to be shelved, according to a POLITICO investigation.
The Taliban murdered a tribal elder who spearheaded a local drive to make a “bravery medal” for President Trump, local media reported and the terror group confirmed Sunday.
According to Afghanistan’s Khaama Press, about 300 residents of Logar province, south of Kabul, collected $645, a hefty sum in the region, to make a 15-gram gold medal for Trump after deciding on the gesture at a local council meeting.
The reason? They liked his tweets at the time against Pakistan, reported TOLO TV.
Nuke em. They’re as bad as the Democrats.
WASHINGTON — Once described as an ill-equipped band of insurgents, the Taliban are increasingly attacking security forces across Afghanistan using night-vision goggles and lasers that United States military officials said were either stolen from Afghan and international troops or bought on the black market.
The devices allow the Taliban to maneuver on forces under the cover of darkness as they track the whirling blades of coalition helicopters, the infrared lasers on American rifles, or even the bedtime movements of local police officers.
The Afhgan government is a corrupt mess and won’t last without an American military presence, unless the US decides to formally colonize this failed state (bad idea) they should pull out.
The US accuses Russia of trying to destabilise Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban. Senior US officials have been saying for months that Moscow is even supplying the militants with weapons.
Russia and the Taliban, who are historic foes, deny the charges. They come amid what some observers see as a “new Cold War” – so how much truth is there to the US claims?
Heroin production, arms smuggling, kidnappings; the Taliban funds its ongoing war in Afghanistan with a wide range of illegal activities, putting its war-footing fund-raising ahead of any moral, or indeed religious, concerns.
A less obvious, but still lucrative, source of revenue has been brought to light by the Institute For War & Peace Reporting (IWPR): pistachio farming.
Russia is supporting and even supplying arms to the Taliban, the head of US forces in Afghanistan has told the BBC.
An Afghan man taken hostage by the Taliban made a dramatic escape by stealing a gun while his captors were praying and shooting dead seven of them and wounding 18 others, officials said Thursday.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The United States is bolstering its efforts to help the Afghan government squash a rash of deadly high-profile attacks in its capital city through Special Operations raids, intelligence to map out residents and additional military advising, the top U.S. general here said.
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said that defending Kabul is the main goal for the U.S.-led military coalition right now. Although the number of bombings in the sprawling city has remained about the same, they have increased in size, he said. Hundreds of people have been killed in the past year’s blasts, terrorizing civilians and damaging embassies and other buildings.
“Yes, the Taliban is in the city,” Nicholson said.
American military leaders are still in denial about fighting the wrong war in Afghanistan.
After successfully toppling the Taliban regime in 2001, the United States and our NATO allies implemented a policy of nation building to bolster the new Afghan government. Moreover, the coalition employed counterinsurgency tactics against the growing number of Taliban fighters that were returning to Afghanistan from safe havens in Pakistan within eighteen months of their defeat.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom circulating in the offices of the Pentagon, the conflict in Afghanistan is not an insurgency, but a proxy war. One can arguably claim that the Taliban comprises a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pakistani intelligence, the ISI.
The Taliban has published an open letter to the American people, calling on them to demand an end the conflict in Afghanistan and to reject “the inexperienced policies of president Trump and his war-monger advisors”.
Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, released copies of the 10-page document on Wednesday in several languages, detailing insurgent gains and so-called failures of the “illegitimate” US-led invasion, now in its 17th year.
The authors write that they hope Americans “will read this letter prudently and will evaluate the future of American forces and your profit and loss inside Afghanistan in light of the prevailing realities”.
ISLAMABAD — Officials in Afghanistan say four operatives of the national intelligence agency have gunned down their 16 colleagues before fleeing to join the Taliban insurgency in the southern Helmand province.
The rare overnight “insider” attack took place at a facility linked to the National Directorate of Security or NDS in the Gerishk district, security sources told VOA Sunday.
Omar Zawak, the provincial government spokesman, confirmed the incident saying the Taliban also assaulted the NDS Center while the insider attack was under way, sparking fierce clashes with Afghan security guards.
Taliban fighters used a four-month-old baby to hide a bomb as part of a plot to carry out an attack in an Afghan city.
Terrorists tried to conceal explosive material within the tiny child’s clothing as they were making their way to Kunduz to carry out an atrocity.
But they were stopped by police as they entered the city and five people, including one woman, were arrested.
14 foreigners among fatalities, with casualty toll expected to rise; more than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, rescued
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital killed at least 18 people, including 14 foreigners, and pinned security forces down for more than 13 hours before the last attacker was killed on Sunday, with the casualty toll expected to rise.
The heavily guarded luxury hotel is popular among foreigners and Afghan officials. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the 18 killed included 14 foreigners and a telecommunications official from the western Farah province who was attending a conference.
Images showing the next generation of Taliban militants pouring over their exam papers – as armed invigilators patrol above them – have emerged from Afghanistan.
Taliban chiefs have been setting up a string of of schools in their strongholds in Afghanistan and remote parts of Pakistan to indoctrinate boys into their fundamentalist teachings that embrace Sharia law.
The Imam Ghazali School is in the Hindu Kush mountain range north of the capital Kabul and the pictures were released by the Taliban’s official TV channel.
The Taliban has a TV Channel?