Washington engaged in an obscure negotiation with Taliban


Washington engaged in an obscure negotiation with Taliban

Эксперты МГИМО: Сушенцов Андрей Андреевич, к.полит.н.

Recent statements maid by the U. S. Defense Minister Robert Gates shed some light on the discussion now going in Washington. Ending war in Afghanistan is important in terms of political reputation for the current administration. It is also huge in terms of financial stability and budgeting — every year of war costs Americans120 billion dollars. The sum exceeds Russian military budget twice.

Washington is ready for the truce with Taliban, but not sure whether it is achievable in the nearest terms. Talibs can freely operate in the country and Kabul itself. Recent terror acts in the capital highlight that. For Taliban it is not clear that time for negotiations with the Americans have come. It is still not obvious who among Talibs will be interested enough to negotiate.

The problem is that Taliban does not constitute regular military structure. It is a loosely connected network of enthusiasts who fight their war in the night and live civil life in daylight. In most cases they fight for their own cause and do not obey Taliban shura headed by Mullah Omar. That makes Robert Gates wonder: Who really represents the Taliban? Washington does not want to end up having a conversation with free-lancers.

Afghanistan ceased to be a strategic question for the U.S. — since Taliban does not threat American security interests and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is tiny and week. The real security concern about Afghanistan is a drug-trafficking. That does not make case for Washington to continue its presence there. But it is something Russia should worry about.

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Источник: Voice of Russia
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