By Anna Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor
Are US military leaders being honest about how the war in Afghanistan is going? No – and to a troubling extent, argues an Army lieutenant colonel who served there last year.
In an article that is creating buzz in the halls of the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis argues that not only is the war in Afghanistan not going well, but also that his fellow US military officers – whether due to a misguided “can do” spirit or a fear of repercussions within their chains of command – are misleading the American people.
This apparent lack of candor, in turn, is creating what Davis calls a “credibility gap,” making it impossible to allow US citizens and lawmakers to “decide if the risk to blood and treasure” inherent in America’s wars is “worth it.” (more…)
By Ernesto Londoño, the Washington Post
The Taliban on Tuesday for the first time publicly expressed interest in negotiating with Washington, outlining a vision for talks with U.S. officials in Qatar that conspicuously excluded a role for the Afghan government.
The announcement marked a major departure for a militant group that has long said it will not negotiate while foreign troops remain in Afghanistan. It offered a measure of hope that after years of missteps, a U.S.-sought negotiated settlement to the decade-long war is possible. If a Taliban office is established in Qatar, U.S. and Afghan interlocutors would have a formal venue to hold substantive talks with the group’s envoys after months of clandestine contact.
But analysts warned of substantial unknowns and possible pitfalls, including whether Pakistan will back or seek to thwart the effort. In addition, the statement’s omission of a role for the Afghan government could anger Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who in the past has felt slighted in U.S.-led attempts at peace talks. (more…)