Talking to the Taliban: Who’s Under Pressure Now?

October 22nd, 2010

On an evening this past spring, near midnight, a land cruiser pulled up to the house of a government official in Kandahar city. The vehicles carried a senior Taleban figure, sent by Mullah Omar, and some tribal elders. That night the group met secretly with a leading Afghan official and discussed [...]

U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

November 28th, 2009

KABUL — The U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan government are launching an initiative to persuade Taliban insurgents to lay down their weapons, offering jobs and protection to the militants who choose to abandon their fight.
While President Hamid Karzai’s government has been trying to woo these insurgents for years, the new program marks the first time [...]

In remote Afghan valley, a rare peace sprouts with insurgents

April 27th, 2009

Promises of cash and jobs–rather than ideological pledges–help prompt fighters to lay down their arms. But questions remain about the program’s efficiency.
Alasay, Afghanistan – Deep in a mountain valley north of Kabul, Gulab Shah and his fellow insurgents were under siege. It was mid-March, and a French-led military offensive had been pounding their village night [...]

Key Afghan Insurgents Open to Talks

March 19th, 2009

The Haqqani Network has agreed to discuss a peace proposal with government-backed mediators.
Kabul, Afghanistan – As the Obama administration ponders reaching out to moderate Afghan insurgents, Kabul has opened preliminary negotiations with the country’s most dangerous rebel faction, the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network.
The group is accused [...]

Bid to split Taliban, al Qaeda

December 16th, 2008

In Afghanistan, the US and NATO reassess their strategy amid concerns that their efforts are failing.
Kabul, Afghanistan – The Afghan government and its allies are reconciling with moderates and isolating hard-liners in a bid to split the insurgency, Western and Afghan officials say.
The idea of [...]

Hekmatyar Reaching Out to Kazai? Update

May 7th, 2008

It looks like we have some confirmation of last week’s post on Hekmatyar’s letter to Karzai. The Afghan online news site Quqnoos is reporting that the President is indeed close to opening talks. Might we see a return of Hekmatyar to the Afghan government? The last time Hekmatyar held a government post, [...]

Hekmatyar reaching out to Karzai?

April 29th, 2008

As bullets flew and MPs scampered on Sunday, many wondered how insurgents were able to penetrate such tight security. The Taliban claims that they didn’t intend to kill Karzai, but of course you wouldn’t expect them to say otherwise. However, if history is any guide, they might actually be telling the truth. [...]