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March 11, 2009
U.S. considers dialogue with moderate Taliban leaders

Even as the U.S. prepares to send 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has made it clear that military force alone isn’t the solution. To that end, he’s proposed negotiating with moderate Taliban leaders.

The Afghan government has already been holding talks with hard-line elements of the Taliban, including one group affiliated with the former Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, once an ally of Osama bin Laden. Characterizing the talks as productive, the government has asked the Taliban to clearly reject al-Qaeda. In return, the Taliban has demanded the release of Taliban prisoners from Afghan and U.S. jails and an end to house searches and arrests.

Karin von Hippel, the co-director of the post-conflict reconstruction project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. speaks with Martin Savidge about the possibility of a dialogue with the Taliban.

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Mark, I think you’ve forgotten that the western “superpowers” didn’t start the war – Al Qaeda did and they were enabled by the Taliban regime in order to plan, coordinate, and execute attacks against western targets in the U.S. and Europe. Western leaders are not begging for peace, as you ellude to, but are utilizing all elements of national power to create regional and global environments that foster stability and prosperity for all.


What was the point to start the war, if western “superpowers” eventually begging for peace talk? Begging for peace after several years of war just means acknowledgement of defeat.

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