Deals With Taliban Could Be Dangerous

Military intervention alone cannot resolve the unrest and violence that stem from illiteracy, inequality and poverty. With that in mind, the US considers approaching more moderate members of the Taliban to join on a political solution for troubled Afghanistan. Reporting for CNN, analyst Peter Berg offers nine reasons why such negotiations might not work, including a weak central government in Afghanistan that lacks authority to negotiate, the Taliban assumption that they’re winning the war, as well as the Taliban’s strong ties with Al Qaeda. Convincing some tribal groups that economic development, central government, international connections, standard education or gender equality are worthy goals is no quick or easy task. Outsiders view Afghanistan as poor and backward, in need of assistance, while the Taliban resist interference by any means available. Berg concludes that “doing deals with most of the various factions of the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are labeled ‘the Taliban’ are more in the realm of fantasy than a sustainable policy.” – YaleGlobal

Deals With Taliban Could Be Dangerous

Such deals could further destabilize the situation in Afghanistan
Peter Bergen
Thursday, March 12, 2009

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Peter Bergen is a fellow at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank that promotes innovative thought from across the ideological spectrum and at New York University’s Center on Law and Security. He’s the author of “The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader.” He is also a CNN national security analyst. These comments are, in part, based on Peter Bergen’s testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs on March 4. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Peter Bergen.

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