Afghan Taliban Talks Stalling Over US, Pakistani Meddling

US, Pakistan Fight Over 'Reconcilable' Factions

While the effort to make up claims that there are talks going on in an attempt to drive a wedge between different Taliban factions is as active as ever, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s efforts to actually orchestrate real talks is stalling on a number of fronts.

The chief roadblock for this “political solution” is, according to officials familiar with the effort, that the United States and Pakistan are both trying to dictate who will participate in the process.

Pakistan is keen on ensuring that the groups it maintains influence in are involved in the talks, while the Obama Administration seems determined to brand virtually everybody “unreconcilable” and therefore inelligible to participate in the talks. The inclusion of the Haqqani Network is at the center of the effort on the Pakistani side, while the US is still demanding Pakistan abandon this plan and attack the Haqqanis instead.

What this has meant is that actual talks are completely stalled while the US and Pakistan engage in meta-fights over the definition of a “reconcilable” faction. Add to this that the Taliban’s leadership has already ruled out participating in the talks and it seems to be a recipe for continuing the war for the forseeable future.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.