According to reports coming out of Afghanistan, the Taliban may be ready to negotiate so that it can be reintegrated into Afghan society – including the government of the country. Even Western military commanders in Afghanistan suggest that this may be the way forward after years of war.
I have to say that I have some serious concerns about this policy should it become the one that is taken by both Western military forces (and obviously the governments behind these forces) and the Afghan government.
Firstly, what ever happened to not negotiating with terrorists? Does not this sort of policy suggest if terrorists hold out long enough there will be opportunity for negotiations and rewards for these negotiations? I don’t believe that this is a good message to send at all.
Secondly, was not one of the aims of the invasion of Afghanistan to drive the Taliban from power and thereby ensure that there was no safe haven for Al Qaeda in that country? Would not this policy provide a possibility for Al Qaeda to regain a lost safe haven in Afghanistan – perhaps not immediately, but in the long run – especially if the Taliban again control the country?
Thirdly, what happens with the Taliban problem in Pakistan should the Taliban gain some form of legitimacy in Afghanistan? Wouldn’t the Pakistan problem become even more difficult, especially given the close ties of the Taliban with Al Qaeda?
Just a few thoughts on the issue. There are plenty more.