In Afghanistan the United States and its international allies have staged a formal handover of military and security control in the country to the beleaguered Kabul government led by the president Hamid Karzai. Almost immediately the Afghan leader – infamous for being propped up through “bags of cash” supplied by the CIA – announced that his government will enter formal negotiations with the insurgent Taliban front and invited the various groupings that form the movement to take part in forthcoming parliamentary elections. At the same time the US government confirmed that it will be holding direct talks with the main Taliban groups in the coming days after it agreed to drop several pre-conditions it tried to impose on the leaders of the Afghan insurgency, including a formal repudiation of al-Qaida.
So, after a decade of conflict which has left tens of thousands dead and injured and sparked further violence elsewhere in the world, the Taliban – in one form or another – are now predicted by analysts to return to power again in Kabul sometime in the course of the next five years. Which begs the question: what on earth was the point of the “War on Terror” in Afghanistan?
- Killing Up Close. The Death of William Wold (vice.com)