Holbrooke On Afghanistan: “Most Thorough…Thoughtful Process I Have Ever Seen”
While critics continue to criticize President Obama for taking his time to decide troop levels for Afghanistan, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan says, “This is the most thorough, most sustained, most thoughtful process I have ever seen. And over the long course of it, we have all learned a great deal from each other, in a way which I think is exactly the way decisions should be made.”
In a movement toward peace and reconciliation, militants including Taliban members may be invited to a summit.
The Obama administration is giving a cautious nod of approval to possible peace contacts between the Kabul government and Taliban factions, as it nears a decision on whether to add as many as 40,000 troops to the Afghan war effort.
A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that the Afghan leader, newly sworn in to a second term in office, might invite Taliban elements and other militant opponents of the government to a Loya Jirga, or grand council meeting, aimed at bringing peace and reconciliation to the war-torn country.
Holbrooke reiterates conditions for Taliban participation which have been laid out by Secretary of State Clinton:
…the first point she mentioned was renounce al-Qaida. Remember and never forget, we are in Afghanistan because of 9/11 [the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States]. And the other thing was to renounce violence and to lay down their arms and participate in life peacefully. In fact, many, many Taliban have done that since 2002.”Click here for reuse options!
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