Britain and US prepared to open talks with the Taliban
A concerted effort to start unprecedented talks between Taliban and British and American envoys was outlined yesterday in a significant change in tactics designed to bring about a breakthrough in the attritional, eight-year conflict in Afghanistan.
Senior ministers and commanders on the ground believe they have created the right conditions to open up a dialogue with "second-tier" local leaders now the Taliban have been forced back in a swath of Helmand province.
They are hoping that Britain's continuing military presence in Helmand, strengthened by the arrival of thousands of US troops, will encourage Taliban commanders to end the insurgency. There is even talk in London and Washington of a military "exit strategy".
This is because of the fact the terain where the NATO forces are presently fighting gets even worst as one gets nearer to the border of Pakistan it is effectivly a good place for defence for hill tridesmen and the Taliban are going to be hard targets to winkle out. The soldiers attacking the Taliban will have a high casualty rate, even helicopters will not give an advantange and armoured support would be slowed down by the terain.
In a way I see this as defeatism, but can understand the leaders need to seek a easier route to solve a very complex military problem. Its not a new one the Russians had a similar problem and all and sundry that have tried to occupy Afghanistan have had to give up in defeat.
The problem is will the Taliban want to talk and how stong minde and strong willed are they to their cause. Its very hard to make headway with a fundlementalist orgainisation and if you do there is always chance of a time bomb waiting to explode in the future. Lets say after Afghanistan is handed back to the Afghanistan people. It may solve the occupiying forces problem but not the problem of mantaining the peace in Afghanistan.