See my previous post (scroll down) on Al-Quds Al-Arabi ‘s warning that the US is doomed in Afghanistan and that the only solution is to open a dialogue with the Taliban. Perhaps we could dismiss their warnings as coming from a paper that, while serious, is also somewhat anti-American. It’s alot harder to do this when it come from America’s closest allies. From the NY_Times:
PARIS — A coded French diplomatic cable leaked to a French newspaper quotes the British ambassador in Afghanistan as predicting that the NATO-led military campaign against the Taliban will fail. That was not all. The best solution for the country, the ambassador said, would be installing an “acceptable dictator,” according to the newspaper.
“The current situation is bad, the security situation is getting worse, so is corruption, and the government has lost all trust,” the British envoy, Sherard Cowper-Coles, was quoted as saying by the author of the cable, François Fitou, the French deputy ambassador to Kabul.
Acknowledging that there is no option other than supporting the Americans in Afghanistan, the ambassador reportedly added, “but we must tell them that we want to be part of a winning strategy, not a losing one.” The American strategy, he is quoted as saying, “is destined to fail.”
More troops is not the solution:
Sir Sherard, as quoted, was critical of both American presidential candidates, who have vowed, if elected, to substantially increase American military support for Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.
In the short run, “It is the American presidential candidates who must be dissuaded from getting further bogged down in Afghanistan,” he is quoted as saying.
On Wednesday, General David D. McKiernan, the senior American military commander in Afghanistan, called on NATO to send more troops and other support as soon as possible to counter the insurgency.
So what then is the solution?
Within 5 to 10 years, the only “realistic” way to unite Afghanistan would be for it to be “governed by an acceptable dictator,” the cable said, adding, “We should think of preparing our public opinion” for such an outcome.
Who is the only force that can be that “acceptable dictator?” Isn’t it time to start talking to the Taliban?
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