Small Wars Journal

Afghan Official Blasts U.S. Talks With Taliban

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 10:05am

Afghan Official Blasts U.S. Talks With Taliban by Deb Riechmann and Matthew Lee - AP / Real Clear Defense

Afghanistan’s national security adviser on Thursday blasted the U.S. talks with the Taliban, saying the Trump administration has alienated the Afghan government, legitimized the militant network and is crafting a deal that will never lead to peace.


“If we are to make peace, it cannot be just a mere deal out somewhere far away where were not in the loop,” Hamdullah Mohib said at a blunt and candid briefing with reporters that prompted a scolding by State Department officials.


Mohib, the former Afghan ambassador to the United States, also took aim at Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. point man negotiating with the Taliban. He suggested that the negotiations conducted by Khalilzad, a veteran American diplomat who was born in Afghanistan, are clouded by Khalilzad’s political ambitions to lead his native country.


“The perception in Afghanistan and people in the government think that perhaps — perhaps — all this talk (with the Taliban) is to create a caretaker government of which he will become the viceroy,” Mohib said, adding that Khalilzad had eyes on the Afghan presidency in both 2009 and 2014 when Ghani was elected…

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