The U.S. is belatedly supporting Hamid Karzai's peace talks with the Taliban. For several years there have been contacts between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Saudi Aribia, the UAR, with support from Britain and France. The current acceleration of the talks is a hopeful sign because a cease fire would enable the U.S. to begin troop withdrawals next year in accordance with President' Obama's stated goal. General Petraeus declared "This is how you end these kinds of insurgencies."
According to recent reports in the media virtually every faction of the Taliban insurgency is involved in the discussions. The elements of a cease fire agreement might include the following:
A timeline for U.S. withdrawal.
A share in the Afghanistan government for the Taliban.
Taliban agreement to break all ties with Al Qaida.
United Nations and international support for the agreement, especially by Pakistan, India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and the Central Asian Republics.
Big obstacles to peace remain--
U.S. military action and constant drone attacks;
Karzai's corrupt government is a weak partner who may not be able to deliver on commitments. He has lost credibility with much of the public in Afghanistan.
If Pakistan doesn't support the talks, they will fail.
[Based on an editorial from The Nation, November 15, 2010 and other published sources.]
I am hopeful this comes to something. It is high time we got out of this quagmire.
There will be plenty of work to do at home helping the traumatized soldiers to have a life without the usual wife bashing and anti-social behavior that is the call sign of returning soldiers everywhere.
No young man (boys a lot of them) should be bastardized by war, yet so many are.
I just read in my local paper this morning that the 21 year old son of a family I know lost both of his legs. I can't imagine receiving that phone call and seeing two Marine officers appear at your door. he was on his last deployment which would have ended in March serving 4 years.
what does it take, how long??
His mission Friday morning: travel among an eight-truck convoy through the desert's embattled roads, clearing the way for patrols. As lead sweeper, Gaertner took point — if anyone saw action, it would be him.
Suddenly, the third truck in line triggered an explosion, likely set off by a pressure plate buried beneath the sand. The convoy stopped. As the dust settled, several Marines, including Gaertner, rushed to assess the damage.
The second bomb blew. Triggered remotely, it caught the Marines by surprise. Gaertner's legs, and those of a friend he had met at Camp Pendleton, were blown to pieces. A third Marine was killed.
Tragic. My Heart goes out to the Marines and the family/friends of this incident. There are no words that comfort a family or someone for the loss of limbs...and life. There can only be a rally of support for ALL...through all that they will go through. Thank you to them for serving a Nation at the greatest of price.
thanks MPM. it has definitely saddened my day. I met Justin a few times when he was on leave. He was and probably still is proud to be a Marine. I was his youngest sister's teacher and saw the mom or dad daily when they picked up their daughter. My heart goes out to all the families affected. here's a link to the article. http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninter … 137361.ece
dedicated to those who sacrifice daily for you and me.
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