Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wire: Analysts Say Obama's Call on Moderate Taliban Useless

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2009 -- In an piece published March 9 by Reuters and generally ignored by the establishment media, Sayed Salahuddin reported that a number of analysts have said that President Barack Obama's proposal to reach out to moderate Taliban will fail to end the Afghan insurgency as it is inflexible Taliban leaders who are orchestrating the war, not moderates.

Obama, in an interview with the New York Times published on the Internet Saturday, expressed an openness to adapting tactics in Afghanistan that had been used in Iraq to reach out to moderate elements there.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed Obama's proposal but analysts were doubtful.

Reuters reported the following:
"Obama's comment resemble a dream more than reality," said Waheed Mozhdah, an analyst who has written a book on the Taliban.

"Where are the so-called moderate Tal iban? Who are the moderate Taliban?" asked Mozhdah, who was an official in both the Taliban and the Karzai governments.

Karzai's pro-Western administration and the growing number of foreign forces in Afghanistan have increasingly come under attack from a resurgent Taliban, with Obama now describing Afghanistan as a top foreign policy priority for his new administration.

"'Moderate Taliban' is like 'moderate killer'. Is there such a thing?", asked writer and analyst Qaseem Akhgar.
The number of foreign troops in Afghanistan has risen steadily since U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001 after they refused to hand over al-Qaeda leaders responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

The level of violence has also risen, as the Taliban have stepped up their campaign to force out Western troops.

Some politicians and a few military officers now say the war cannot be won by military means alone and a solution will have to involve some form of reconciliation.

However, Taliban leaders behind the insurgency cannot be characterized as moderates and tend to be inflexible and have shown no hint of compromise in their demands that Western forces leave.

(Report from a commercial newswire source.)

Related: Reuters - Obama's call on moderate Taliban useless - analysts

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