Karzai, US In Talks With Taliban: Effect on Troop Morale?

Drudge reports that Karzai is in negotiations with the taliban. In my opinion, this pretty much means that the USA and NATO are looking for a way out of this quagmire.
My question: how does a soldier in the field feel, when he knows that the bosses in Washington have written the war off? I’d be reluctant to risk injury or death, knowing that we will be pulling out.
Frankly, it had to come to this-after 10 tears and hundreds of billions, it simply isn’t working.
My only question-will we have an orderly withdrawl, or a scene reminiscent of saigon in the final days of South Vietnam?
Send Karzai to his villa in Switzerland, and let the taliban take over…its time to leave.

Why should Karzai leave? The Taliban do not have teh support of the majority of the Afghan populace especially among the non-Pashtuns. And is this negotiation between high-level Taliban or simply local commanders to get them to surrender or back down or something?

Here’s a CNN story about what’s going on. The notion of talking to the Taliban has been out there for a long time.

It was announced years ago that most U.S. soldiers would be withdrawn.

I have no way to know how the soldiers feel, but I think that’s a really lousy summary of what’s going on.

Given that the pullout has been in the works for years, it ought to be orderly.

GW Bush told the Taliban to hand over Bin Laden or else. They refused. That is why we are in Afghanistan. If they had handed him over, we wouldn’t be there. Bin Laden is dead, there is no reason to be there now.

And yes the Taliban were repressive and not nice, but there are a lot of other places that are repressive and we’re not over there.

It’s time to leave. Al Queda has already proved it can hide in and operate from Pakistan which is off limits to us. So they don’t need the wilds of Afghanistan to train anymore. And if they did there are plenty of other countries (think Somalia, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau among others) which are a mess and would host Al Queda

The Taliban aren’t just oppresssive like say Hosni Mubarak but literally mediaeval fucktards who imposed stoning for virtually every crime, and was probably the most barbaric government in the world when it was overthrown in 2001. Plus if we leave Al-Qaeda would almost certainly return.

Tell that to all the people Mubarak had tortured. There is a reason that a lot of Al Qaeda’s intellectual leadership is Egyptian.

Implicit in your OP is that this is becoming a negotiated surrender *to *the Taliban. Various experts believe we’re a lot closer to a negotiated surrender *of *the Taliban. By assuming your own conclusion, you’ve poisoned the question you purport to ask.

In every war there comes a time when your leadership is talking to the enemy leadership about ending it. Maybe it’s real one-sided (e.g. US & Japan in 1945), maybe it’s less so. So this development in Afghanistan is nothing new or profane or underhanded in the history of warfare.

And in every war, regardless of when or where, there’s an awareness on the part of the troops of whether they’re in the early stages, the middle, or the end-game. And also whether their side is in it full-out or just hacking at it with partial effort. Afghanistan is nothing new or different in this either.

Nobody in WWII wanted to be the last casualty either. The folks besieging Berlin were real interested in not trying so hard they got killed. Likewise the defenders.

If you’re a troop in Afghanistan today and you see the political situation shaping up to get to a negotiated settlement, the fighting to end, & you can go home, that would seem to be more of a morale booter than a morale destroyer.

There’s no shame in leaving. It’s stupid to keep fighting when there’s nothing really left to fight for

Were I part of the troops, I would be elated that we’re finally getting the hell out of there. Staying would be pointless. At least from a distance, the US can support the government with less risk to its own resources and people

Today I heard that we, and Afghanistan, are trying to negotiate with the Taliban. I mean, I’ve heard it for a while, but I guess it’s more official now.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but one of the biggest problems they have with us are our “Western values”. So I’m trying to envision what would make the militants want to put down their weapons.

“OK, if you stop shooting at us, we’ll outlaw girls going to school. And if you tell us where you placed the I.E.D.s we’ll let you stone adulterers.”

OK, obviously I’m being silly to illustrate my concerns, which are; If we and the Afghan government can work out a deal with the Taliban, how can any good come from this for women, gay people, or other minorities, or people who want freedoms the Taliban don’t want people to have?

We’ll have to see what comes of the negotiations. The US and Afghan governments have a lot of priorities beyond just the things you listed. Right now the US wants troops out of Afghanistan, and I’m sure that freedom and liberty in Afghanistan don’t matter nearly as much to the US government as preventing Afghanistan from reverting back to a safe haven for terrorists to plan attacks against America from.

It’s up to the Afghan government to ensure freedom and liberty in Afghanistan, not us. I certainly hope they’re successful, but my government’s job isn’t necessarily to make sure it happens.

We never cared about those things in the first place. We just threw out one bunch of oppressive thugs and installed a different bunch of oppressive thugs, there wasn’t any revolution in civil rights there nor did we try to create one.

Frankly, with Karzai in charge, I’m not sure the Afghanistan government will make it happen. Between the charges of corruption, and reading something like this:

[quote=Washington Post
Karzai has repeatedly denounced civilian casualties and night raids by U.S. and NATO forces. He has come close to demanding that they leave the country and threatened to label them foreign occupiers. In contrast, he has rarely criticized the Taliban insurgents, despite their brutal campaign against his government and populace, instead inviting them to join the government as “sons of the soil.”[/quote]

I had a feeling, no cite, that if the Taliban stops taking arms against the Afghanistan government then that will be good enough for Karzai and there will be no more progress. At least coming from the government.

Afghanistan is a lost cause, in the short term. It would be very much in our best interests to leave there immediately, it’s dumb to stay on the present terms. The problem isn’t Afghanistan, it’s the Peshawar, the people who live in the seam between Afghanistan and Pakistan and who are the Taliban’s base. If we were to make war on the Peshawar, total, unlimited war, daisy cutters, carpet bombing, etc, we might get somewhere, or we might not, it would. not. be. easy. or. fast. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan would be forced to oppose it for political reasons, but frankly they are a destabilizing force for both countries and the leadership would secretly love it. As it is, if we leave Afghanistan the Taliban in the Peshawar will make a grab for power in Afghanistan so fast it would make your head spin. It would be an awful thing for the people trying to lead decent, civliized lives in the North, especially the women, but we’d save a lot of money and a lot of American lives.

True. Well, that’s the idea, anyway. The New York Times is reporting that about 1,700 Taliban soldiers out of 40,000 have agreed to stop fighting, and meanwhile, the U.S. is unhappy with Karzai’s recent comments. That’s not a promising start.

Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.

In that case, I’m merging Nobody’s thread (posts 9 through 15) with ralph124c’s.

What makes you think that the Afghans support Karzai? They don’t.

Emphasis on ‘key areas’ which doesn’t equate with Afghanistan on a whole. Which is what the record of support should be detailing. I understand that key areas are important, but they are not the whole of the country.

News flash: new poll finds that Obama, Democrats are unpopular in red states! OMG, there’s going to be a revolution!!

Well, not really. If you read that cite carefully, it’d be clear that Karzai isn’t popular in places where the Taliban IS popular. Shocking, I know.

But from the same report:

And from a more recent report:


In fact, other recent polls show that Afghans are quite supportive of the central government overall – in 2010, 73% said that the national government is doing a good job of carrying out its responsibilities, and support for the Taliban continues to be in the single-digits nationwide. Link.

I’m not saying that Afghanistan doesn’t have severe problems – but using a poll of areas opposed to the Afghan government to judge how popular the Afghan government is, is just laughable.

I’m struggling to think why you wouldn’t talk to your enemies. Surely it is better than shooting?