Monday, October 06, 2008

Is There An End In Sight?

According to a CNN article, the Taliban is in talks with the Afghan government to end the 7 year long war. It seems the Taliban wants to split from its partnership with Al Qaeda and find some resolution that would end the fighting. The article states that both the Afghan leadership and the Taliban acknowledge that neither side can win through military action. The Afghan leadership know that the Taliban cannot be defeated through military means, and the Taliban know that they cannot win against the coalition troops.

The other side of all this is not only is the Taliban in talks with the Afghan government, but it wants to divorce itself from Al Qaeda. This turn of events brings up some looming questions: If the Taliban are willing to discuss a resolution, what will be asked of them? Will they turn over Al Qaeda members that they have been harboring or assisting? The Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was not present at the talks, but one wonders if he will be found/seen again as the talks progress.

These developments also have an impact on Iran as many believe that Iran has been arming the Taliban. Iran doesn't want to see the US leave Afghanistan for fear of coalition troops finding a new enemy to fight in Iran, but Saudi Arabia is not happy with Iran's involvement in all this, and thus was willing to host the talks.

Will anything come to fruition? Who knows. But the fact that these talks came out of two years of negotiation shows that both sides must be dedicated to finding a solution. According to the article the talks will resume in 2 months time, so it will be interesting to see what happens then.

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