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Political Sacrifice for Peace in Afghanistan Part3

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    Posted: 07-May-2019 at 5:43pm

President Ashraf Ghani missed the golden opportunity to crush his political opponents

I have been optimistic about the fact that the US is serious about getting to pull out of Afghanistan. For years, the US system was divided on the wisdom of a negotiated settlement. No more. President Donald Trump shook his establishment into pursuing an end to the war in earnest. The US machinery remains in overdrive to make something happen through the ongoing talks. But I wonder now if we are overstating the willingness among other key actors in achieving the same. Indeed, the way the deck is laid out, we require irrational behavior from brutally self-interested actors to get to a solid deal. At least as the theory of negotiations goes, this is not a good place to be in, and in conversation with some Afghans they don't think the US is sincere in its commitment to pullout of Afghanistan.

Political Sacrifices for Peace in Afghanistan Part 3

There is increasing talk about Afghan President Ashraf Ghani playing spoiler. He has been uniting with some political forces in Afghanistan to raise the costs for the US and others to detach him. He has constantly indicated that any deal without his government can't be accepted. Troubling, but rational. He is not doing well politically and, by all accounts, will likely lose a fair election unless there is some major development in his favor. He missed the golden opportunity during the Loya Jirga to crush his political opponents. If I was President Ghani I would have offered the Taliban as much power as possible as long as they agreed that Afghanistan will not go backwards as it happened during their rule.  

Political sacrifice would have made President Ghani a hero just by offering his resignation on the first day of the Loya Jirga to the Taliban and his political opponents if they were to join in the Loya Jirga and find a path to peace. Heroes are not made by mentioning your past achievements but what will occur after your last sacrifice for your nation.

The Afghans are disappointed with the outcome of the Loya Jirga, the outcome stated we want peace, instead of finding a solution as to the steps needed for the peace. If the answer was for the Taliban to stop fighting, it is a dream.

The Taliban. For the most part, their worries for political legitimacy and the keen acknowledgement of the hopelessness of a military victory makes them a genuinely pro-peace deal player. And yet, they are hard-pressed to point to any meaningful concessions from their side since the Doha talks began.

Among the various theories explaining the Taliban's inflexibility, the one that they hope for the most is that they can prolong the peace talks so the US president will sooner or later tweet his way to an abrupt pullout. On the other hand, no matter what deal they strike, they must go through a complicated process of convincing their fighters that they haven't sold out to the US. If so, would they prefer playing the delaying game rather than sincerely negotiating a compromise deal? Is this what is happening in Doha?

I would think as an Afghan you would be interested in saving Afghan lives and negotiate foreign troop’s pullout as soon as possible when we can be assure there will be no civil war.

Mateen Karzai

Edited by AfghanistanNews - 07-May-2019 at 6:20pm
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