At a speech for International Women’s Day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared an interview in which President Barack Obama spoke of “opportunities” to reach out to moderate Taliban “good news,” saying this had been the position of the Afghan government for quite some time now.
The interview, given on Friday and published this weekend in the New York Times, has President Obama declaring that Afghanistan’s history of being a “less governed region” with “fierce independence” was going to make the 7+ year war’s success “much more of a challenge.”
But if the president’s openness to reconciliation with moderates was read as “good news” by a war-weary Afghan government, the reasoning behind it could only be described as a negative. President Obama points to the recruitment of Sunni militias as part of what he describes as “the success in Iraq.” It seems that in spite of the study showing that the decline in violence there was mostly the result of sectarian cleansing (creating an enormous and unresolved refugee crisis), the Obama Administration is still intent on shoehorning the mythical military solution of Iraq onto a decidedly different situation in Afghanistan.
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