Fought to the Table: Talks with the Taliban | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Fought to the Table: Talks with the Taliban

“Attempting to control rural areas in Afghanistan always eventually ends up boiling down to personal survival” (Evan McAllister, former Marine staff sergeant, New York Times, July 28, 2018).

It genuinely doesn’t matter how the security boffins within the Pentagon frame it: the Taliban have fought the United States, through sheer will of force and mania, to the negotiating table – at least in a fashion. Ever since a vengeful US took to the field in Afghanistan in an effort to redraw the political landscape in its favour, the country has been true to its historical record: drawing, draining and dispersing the manpower and material of an empire.

Washington’s longest war has taken the lives of 2,400 Americans and 30,000 Afghan civilians, a bloody sore that never dries. The US has 14,000 troops stationed in an effort to bolster a flabby, unconvincing Afghan military which is suffering weekly losses at a horrendous rate. The bloodletting has had its necessary demoralising effect, with the number of Afghan soldiers, police, pilots and security personnel dropping by five percent (18,000 fewer individuals) since last year.

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