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BS: Taliban Talks

Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Jun 13 - 03:35 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 13 - 03:44 PM
Little Hawk 19 Jun 13 - 04:14 PM
Greg F. 19 Jun 13 - 06:53 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 13 - 07:38 PM
kendall 19 Jun 13 - 07:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Jun 13 - 07:46 PM
kendall 19 Jun 13 - 08:23 PM
Bobert 19 Jun 13 - 08:29 PM
Ed T 19 Jun 13 - 08:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jun 13 - 01:43 PM
Ed T 20 Jun 13 - 05:34 PM
Ed T 20 Jun 13 - 06:17 PM
kendall 20 Jun 13 - 07:24 PM
Ed T 20 Jun 13 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,Ellen Vanin 21 Jun 13 - 05:29 AM
Ed T 21 Jun 13 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,kendall 21 Jun 13 - 01:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM
akenaton 21 Jun 13 - 05:56 PM
Ed T 21 Jun 13 - 06:26 PM
Greg F. 21 Jun 13 - 07:00 PM
Ed T 21 Jun 13 - 07:18 PM
kendall 21 Jun 13 - 07:21 PM
Greg F. 21 Jun 13 - 08:17 PM
Ed T 24 Jun 13 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Teribus 25 Jun 13 - 08:45 AM
Jack the Sailor 25 Jun 13 - 08:51 AM
akenaton 25 Jun 13 - 09:06 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jun 13 - 01:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jun 13 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Teribus 26 Jun 13 - 03:46 AM
Ed T 26 Jun 13 - 07:05 AM
Ed T 26 Jun 13 - 07:47 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jun 13 - 03:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 13 - 06:05 PM
Ed T 03 Jul 13 - 06:53 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jul 13 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Teribus 03 Jul 13 - 08:11 AM
Ed T 03 Jul 13 - 05:28 PM
Ed T 08 Jul 13 - 06:25 AM
Ed T 09 Jul 13 - 06:52 AM
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Subject: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 03:35 PM

The Taliban are opening a political office in Qatar. Looks like the U.S. is going to enter into talks with them.

Has the Taliban and their supporters won the war?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 03:44 PM

the short answer is probably, yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 04:14 PM

Yes, they have. And it's damned funny and ironical as far as I'm concerned. Once again the USA has gotten itself into an unwinnable quagmire that should never have been entered in the first place, is hurting badly from the cost of it all, sees no way of bringing it to a favorable conclusion, and is now looking for a way to supposedly achieve "peace with honor" (Ha! Ha!) as Nixon grandly put it when ignominiously departing Vietnam. Once again an armed-to-the-teeth and decadent American Empire has failed to impose itself upon an indigenous population, despite having overwhelming firepower to do it. Well, guess what? A shitload of phony money and the most high tech killing machines in the world just can't solve everything, can they? They didn't solve anything in Iraq either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 06:53 PM

The longer answer is no. Karzai - the latest corrupt SOB of a long string that the US has supported - is getting in the way.

Way past time the U.S. got the hell out of Knatsanusistan- never should have been there in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 07:38 PM

Little Hawk, you are right. What do you know about the slaughter of the Mitis in Saskatchewan by the Canadian government.?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 07:43 PM

I don't know where we got the notion that we are the authority on how others should live.We have invaded countless countries because we didn't like what they were doing.
Maybe we got it from our Mother country, England?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 07:46 PM

The Metis were not slaughtered- only those who were killed in battle at Batoche and other engagements of the Northwest rebellion. They did lose much of their lands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 08:23 PM

So, the ones that actually died are not as dead as if they were slaughtered? Gatlin guns against primitive weapons? some battle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 08:29 PM

This will be just like the Paris Peace talks during Vietnam...

I guarantee it!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 08:49 PM

Was it actually "a war" or just another temporary occupation in the country?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 01:43 PM

Digressing into old history (my fault, too, I should have ignored the post) adds nothing to a discussion of the recognition of the Taliban as an important player in Afghanistan.

What is the result of the EU-American intervention?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 05:34 PM

Could the NATO operation differ much from the impact of the Russion one?

Outside of possibly making the Taliban stronger militarily, has any intervention altered the Taliban/Afganisrtian dominant forces policies? Likely not much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 06:17 PM

A good question is what was the UAA-NATO mission goals - to determine if they were met (short term and longer term)?

When I think of the Taliban, I think of the complexities in Pakistan. When I think of Pakistan, I think of the complexities of the Pakistan India relationship p-both kinda friends of teh west.

The USA made a major contribution to the growth of the Taliban (and similar movements) in during the Russion "intervention". It seems unlikely that the current Afganistani government has a low liklihood of changing anything over the long term- as happened with the Russian proped-up regime. Intervetion or not-like 'em or not, the will of the local power forces people and culture will eventially prevail, as it does in most nations.

Taliban-Pakistan-India


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 07:24 PM

My point is simply that the USA is not the only country that has been high handed and ran rough shod over others.Ok, LH?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 08:01 PM

As LH seems to say (IMO), the cost of such ventures is high (not only in economic terms), with the rewards be few - as the outcomes are complex and unpredictable. But, it seems that historic lessons are hard learned, and especially harder for some.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: GUEST,Ellen Vanin
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 05:29 AM

I wonder what the Afgan women think about this? Maybe they are happy to go back to being forbidden to get an education and forbidden to work. Maybe they were quite happy when women were not allowed to see male doctors and there were no female doctors. Maybe they liked it when they weren't allowed to work even if they had no male to support them (although women being prostitutes seems to be acceptable to the Taliban). Maybe they aren't happy. The only certainty is that whatever they think will make no difference at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 05:49 AM

""I wonder what the Afgan women think about this?""

A good question. But, one would have to considered from the countries religious/cultural background, not from the perspectives of those who would prefer it were different.

Changing who governs is one thing, changing the society and culture is a much more complex undertaking - bombs are not very useful for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 01:23 PM

If the whole world thought like we do, there would be no wars, and the Dick Cheneys would have to get a job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM

A major problem is that the three main groups in Afghanistan have never got along.

Areas with majority Pashtun population are firmly rooted in a culture that is firmly male dominated. The Taliban reflects their views.

Attempts to establish a democratic government for the whole of the country will fail, although it might be possible to have regional self rule.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 05:56 PM

Very true ED.....Our culture has changed out of all recognition from my youth....but I doubt if we are any better for it.
I see a disintigrating society, with no cohesion, little structure and a succession of social experiments which have never been properly thought through.
Self obsession abounds...perhaps Mrs Thatcher was right in saying that "society" no longer exists.
Perhaps universal "human rights" are not the silver bullet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 06:26 PM

I am puzzled as to how one could believe that the USA can negotiate anything meaningful from a position of weakness?

The Taliban knows the country will soon be theirs, so I suspect they will promise a lot in return for what they can get from "the defeated gringos on the run". The USA no trump or wild cards that really matters. At the most, the USA may be able to get rid of some "aging detainee's" that the Taliban want back in an uneven excahnge. Maybe that could get Obama out of the Guantanamo PR mess (but,yes, at an unknown cost)?

After all, the USA (NATO) is scheduled to leave (regardless of the published intents to leave in phases and help the current rulers, yada, yada).

The ruling government is weak (possibly corrupt) and unlikely to survive long after. The questionably-trained and poorly motivated military will likely dissapear when their USA protectors and their USA dollars dry up (either running for the hills, or shifting sides and being tectically absorbed).

It may be like the TV program "Life After People, but in this case, "Life after the western military"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 07:00 PM

One might equally wonder how the US can negiotiate anything meaningful from a position of strength.

This has always been a lost cause from the get-go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 07:18 PM

OOPs, tectically should read tactically in my last post (I normally have a few of these in every post, regardless of the post length :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: kendall
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 07:21 PM

Maybe some day we will wise up and accept the fact that we can not afford to run the whole world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 08:17 PM

Not only can't the U.S. afford it, it can't accomplish it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 24 Jun 13 - 03:08 PM

I did not link this interesting opinion piece, as I am unsure how long it will be available at newspaper I read it on:

ON TARGET: Afghanistan repeats past mistakesJune 23, 2013 By SCOTT TAYLOR |
Since Canada concluded the combat mission in southern Afghanistan two years ago, news coverage and analysis of that conflict has all but disappeared in the Canadian media.

Last week, there were a few brief mentions that the last rotation of troops for the ongoing training mission was departing Canada. This served as a reminder that until March 31, 2014, there will still be more than 900 Canadian soldiers deployed to Afghanistan to oversee the training and development of the Afghan National Army.

The exit strategy for the NATO alliance is to withdraw more than 130,000 international combat troops currently in theatre by the end of 2013. At that juncture, a mere 15,000 NATO advisers, mostly U.S. troops, will remain to assist the Afghan security forces.

As part of that lengthy transition, last Tuesday the Afghan army and U.S. military officers conducted a ceremony, which nominally ceded to the Afghans the lead role in defending their own country.

Since the post-Taliban era began in 2002, it has been the stated goal of the international community to bring the Afghan security forces to self-sufficiency.

However, last week's ceremony was nothing more than hollow pomp and posturing. Although great efforts have been made in the past decade to improve the level of training and equipment received by the Afghan army, their greatest challenges remain illiteracy, desertion, internal ethnic divisions and, as evidenced by the escalation of "green-on-blue" killings (the execution of NATO trainers by Afghan recruits), loyalty.

The emphasis has also always been placed on churning out combat units to be rushed into the front lines alongside NATO forces. As a result, the Afghan army probably has the highest teeth-to-tail ratio of any standing army in the world.

The international community, Canada included, has focused on churning out light infantry battalions, or Kandaks, with far less emphasis placed on the creation of the supporting corps such as logistic, medical, engineering and administration.

Developing such specific trade qualifications from a largely illiterate recruit pool would take an excessive amount of time and a lot more money than simply teaching a soldier how to fire an assault rifle and march in formation.

Only now that NATO is on the eve of pulling out has it become apparent that without the international support apparatus, the combat units of the Afghan army will likely soon cease to function. This is ominous because that army is seen as the solitary hope of preventing a full-scale, multi-factional civil war, similar to the one that followed the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1989, in Afghanistan.

The presidential reign of Hamid Karzai will conclude in 2014, because constitutionally he cannot seek a third term. While the democratic process failed to produce a verifiable result in 2009, the international community had no choice but to hold their noses and stick with Karzai.

His regime is considered one of the most corrupt on the planet. His officials are widely despised by the population. Nevertheless, in the time-honoured tradition of "dancing with the one who brung ya," NATO continued to provide combat troops to prop him up.

With Karzai out of the picture, no one can predict the result if the Afghans even bother to attempt holding presidential elections in 2014.

Indicative of the political mayhem that is brewing was a bold attack on a convoy carrying Mohammad Mohaqiq in Kabul, which was simultaneous with the security handover ceremony. Mohaqiq is described, these days, as a "prominent lawmaker." But during the Soviet occupation and the Taliban era, he was known as a mujahedeen warlord.

When I interviewed him in Kabul in 2010, he told me that he would support Karzai as long as Karzai supported his Shiite Hazara followers. While the attack did not kill Mohaqiq, it is evidence that a power play is erupting among the old warlords and is not something that will be settled at any ballot box.

Also surfacing last week was my old friend, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum. This fierce Uzbek warlord is accused of numerous war crimes dating back to the Soviet occupation. At that stage, he supported the communists but later switched sides and became a mujahedeen commander.

Last week, Dostum's militia attacked the Jowzjan Gov. Mohammed Alim Sayee's home and office, sparking speculation that the old warlord is flexing his muscles prior to NATO's pullout.

History is repeating itself and the cast of characters remains virtually unchanged from the Soviet defeat to the NATO debacle in Afghanistan.

Scott Taylor is editor of Esprit de Corps magazine.

(staylor@herald.ca)


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 08:45 AM

Have the Taliban and their supporters won the war? asks Q

Well if they have I would dearly like to know precisely what they have won.

1: They do not control a single town or district inside Afghanistan
2: Their leaders still sit in their Pakistani ISI provided "Safe Houses" (Didn't prove too "safe" for OBL though).
3: Since 2006 they have threatened "Spring" and "Summer" Offensives and have yet to deliver one, whereas ISAF and the ANSF can fight 12 months of the year

Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taleban, realised the game was a stalemate about four years ago. But there were no indications of anybody seeking talks (That year they had an election to try and derail). The track record of any talks with the Taleban is not good, they have never lived up to any promise they have given or any condition they have agreed to.

The presence of the international community inside Afghanistan was never an "invasion" or an "occupation" both UNAMA and ISAF were always going to leave Afghanistan as soon as they possibly could. The work previously carried out by the PRTs is now being undertaken by Afghan Authorities and by Afghan Contractors. The ANSF has just assumed lead role and responsibility for security and law enforcement inside Afghanistan's borders (Early in 2007 British General Sir David Richards predicted that this would happen sometime in a period he put as being 5 - 10 years. It has actually happened in 6 years)

Afghanistan is a country two-and-a-half times the size of France with a population of ~31 million people. Annual average death toll from ALL causes since 2006 is 581,947. Annual average death toll due to the current insurrection over the same period is ~2,133, which tends to suggest that throughout Afghanistans 34 Provinces and 388 Districts you stand a damned sight more chance dying of drinking poor water, or being run over by a truck than you do being killed by the Taleban or by ISAF/ANSF.

So what have the Afghans got from all this?

A) Roads, Bridges, Hospitals, Schools, Airports, A railway.
B) Hydro-electric schemes and irrigation schemes
C) Since 2009 they, for the first time in the history of the country, now grow sufficient cereal crops to satisfy domestic demand
D) In 2001 the average life expectancy was 41 years - It is now 67 years
E) Between 1978 and 2001 an Afghan civilian had a 1-in-5 chance of suffering an unexpected violent death. The chances of him suffering that same unexpected violent death today are 1-in-272
F) Massive foreign investment (Note: That is investment NOT aid)

Literacy? In 2001 the male literacy rate for the country was 14%, that percentage has increased enormously the male literacy rate is now 43.1% (Female literacy 12.6%)

In the Autumn and early winter of 2001 the Taleban, then at the height of their power, were driven from the country in 71 days by 35,000 men of the Northern Alliance assisted by 1,200 US Special Advisers and the combat aircraft supplied by two USN Aircraft Carriers. When the NATO-led ISAF contingent withdraws their combat troops the Taleban will not be facing 35,000 men of the Northern Alliance, they will be facing 354,000 men of the ANA & ANPF assisted by the international community and by those countries with investments to protect inside Afghanistan. The ANSF and the Government of Afghanistan will be able to call upon whatever support and assistance they require. The Taleban know this and perhaps that is why they are trying to blag their way to a negotiating table before the 31st December 2014 - because after that it becomes an "All Afghan Affair" and downright "Soviet" in nature, choices offered will be stark and the Taleban and their supporters do not have the resources to fight a war when their opposition is waging war on them (Up to now no-one has).


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 08:51 AM

"Was it actually "a war" or just another temporary occupation in the country? "

I don't know. You could ask the families that lost soldiers or ask the soldiers who lost limbs and brain tissue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 09:06 AM

Ron Davis.....the above, by Jack, is a perfect example of irony....look and learn, there is never room for direct personal abuse. Irony rquires intellectual application.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 01:37 PM

When the occupation/war is no longer and the troops come home, the divisions will recur and the Taliban will be strong, especially in Pashtun areas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 08:09 PM

The repressive puritan regime of the Taliban should not be taken as the longstanding and unchanging culture of Afghanistan. It was the artificial product of the consequences of the clumsy Russian attempt to bolster a puppet regime in Afghanistan, and of American efforts to encourage and support those opposed to that regime, for whatever reason.

This led to a postwar period dominated by corrupt and vcious warlords, amd the Taliban came to power as a reaction against this by puritan extremists, initially welcomed by many.

Before all this happened, Afganistan was in many ways a more easy going and tolerant society than it's neighbours.   The Irish cycling traveller Dervla Murphy, in her book Full Tilt telling of her ride from Ireland to India, talks of how going from Iran to Afghanistan felt quite liberating, since it was far more relaxed about a woman travelling on her own by cycle.

There can be little doubt that within a relatively short period after the US and friends pull out, the country will be in the hands of the people who have been fighting against the occupying forces and the government propped up by them. How far this will mean a return to the fanatical puritan time is unknowable. All that can be done is hope that what emerges in the end will be more like Afghanistan of earlier times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 03:46 AM

Good post MGoH, people tend to forget what Afghanistan was like prior to the PDPA coup of April 1978.

The other thing that people overlook is that since the summer of 2002, for a decade, much of Afghanistan has been relatively "peaceful" compared to the two decades that preceded it. The cities of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Jalalabad Mazar-i-Sharif have all been rejuvenated, and foreign investment from such regional partners as Iran, China and India are bringing prosperity to a country that was a "failed state" in every sense of the term.

It should also be remembered that the international community is not going to abandon Afghanistan. The Government is not only being propped up by foreign forces. For every single member of ISAF currently in the country there are four Afghans fighting alongside them to defend their country and guard the Government that the electorate of Afghanistan voted in (Last elections in Afghanistan were held prior to 1973).

I too, having experienced of the country back when, share your hopes for the future of the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 07:05 AM

I suspect all the foreign-built infrastructure won't mean much in the short term, once the troops leave and "the real game" begins. Signs of change can be made to look good "on paper" though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 07:47 AM

Let's not forget that the current government of Afghanistan scored equel to North Korea in 2012 on the corruption scale by Transparency InternationalBottom of the pack


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 03:33 PM

Before commenting, a history, political and cultural, should be consulted, e. g., Thomas Barfield, "A Cultural and Political History," Princeton University Press.

Afghanistan has always been volatile. Governed by the Mughal Empire in the 16th C., and in following years, governance was held by a small elite, with regional differences allowed as long as they followed the decrees of the ruling elite.
This system broke down when regional militias were recruited to fight the British in the 19th C.
The insurgencies of the 19th C. undermined any effort at central government.
Armed groups plunged the country into civil wars, the last following the expulsion of the Soviets.
The Taliban, supported by repressive clerical rule, grew and was espoused by the large Pushtun population.

The NATO-American invasion temporarily put down the Taliban, but their philosophy continued to take root outside of the Kabul area, resulting in the guerrilla tactics used against the Americans and their allies today.

Cultural and political divisions will continue to keep the country in turmoil after the allied forces are withdrawn. The "advances" towards democracy and personal freedom will fade away.

Without strong central rule, Afghanistan will continue to be volatile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 06:05 PM

Volatile is one thing. The thing about the Taliban is that they weren't volatile, they were the opposite, inflexible and rigid. And in very many ways completely out of keeping with the culture and history of Afghanistan, which does indeed appear to be pretty volatile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jul 13 - 06:53 AM

The other cost


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jul 13 - 06:59 AM

Link no good, address too long for linkmaker.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 03 Jul 13 - 08:11 AM

I never thought that it was volatile while I was there.

The British involvement in and with Afghanistan lasted from 1839 to 1919 and out of that eighty year period the British were only in Afghanistan for about seven years. At no time throughout that period was it ever considered desirable to incorporate Afghanistan into the British Empire of the day as that would completely defeat their objective which was to maintain an independent and neutral buffer state between India and Tsarist Russia. In achieving this for as long as they wanted it the British were 100% successful.

As far as the "foreign built" infrastructure goes much of this has been asked for and built by Afghans themselves but paid for by foreign aid. Irrigation and hydro-electric schemes destroyed by the Soviets and by the Taleban have been repaired and new ones constructed, those enable the farmers to grow more. The improved roads and bridges mean that farmers can now reach more than one market a week so I do not think that they would allow those things to be destroyed easily.

But we will see, I wish them well - Doesn't matter how dire the situation or the outlook at some point in order to survive common-sense has to kick in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jul 13 - 05:28 PM

Sorry about the earlier link- I checked it before I posted. Oh well, this one may be more reliable:

afghanistan-veterans-mental-health


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 08 Jul 13 - 06:25 AM

A recent column questioning the possibility of long term advances in Afghanistan:

Advances in Afghanistan?


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Subject: RE: BS: Taliban Talks
From: Ed T
Date: 09 Jul 13 - 06:52 AM

The photos tell the tale of the impact outside dollars have had on Afghanistan. Stop the foreign dollars/influence and it returns to its former state.

Photos-Afghanistan 50's and 60's


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