Former FM Warns Against Afghanistan Surge

Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil, the former Foreign Minister of Afghanistan before the 2001 invasion ousted the Taliban regime, has warned against a planned 2009 military surge aimed at defeating the Taliban. Mutawakil predicts that an increase in foreign troops would derail the rumored reconciliation talks between the Taliban and the present Afghan government. He also predicts that more foreign fighters will come to the country to fight if America increases its presence.

This is the second time in a week that the former minister and former spokesman for Taliban leader Mullah Omar, has seen fit to speak about the Taliban’s intentions and perspectives. Last week, he suggested they would be willing to cut ties with al-Qaeda if the group stood in the way of a peace settlement. It is unclear how much insight Mutawakil retains regarding the organization, however, having been publicly disowned by Mullah Omar over five years ago.

The US intelligence community has been reporting that Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” of violence and corruption, and General David McKiernan has been urging an increase in troops “as quickly as possible.” Both John McCain and Barack Obama have stated their intentions to add troops to fight the seven year old war.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.