A New Plan to End the War!

by Joshua Foust on 10/20/2010 · 10 comments

This is spectacular:

The Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, a country that is emerging as a linchpin of United States policy in Central Asia, has devised a new proposal aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan and will present it to the United Nations on Tuesday.

In an interview this week, the Foreign Minister, Abdulaziz Kamilov, said his Government wants to forge a coalition in Kabul that would include the fundamentalist Islamic Taliban movement but not allow it to impose policies opposed by other factions.

”Resistance to the Taliban is not only military but also in the hearts of the Afghan people,” Mr. Kamilov said. ”It is not possible for Afghanistan to be drawn back into the Middle Ages.”

Mr. Kamilov said that in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York he would propose the establishment of a ”contact group” to press for a new coalition in Kabul. Its members would include all countries bordering on Afghanistan, all major factions in the country, and perhaps some outside powers including the United States.

Anyway, so that was in 1997. It’s something to keep in mind when we hear about basically the exact same thing happening right now. It could possibly work this time, but I see no evidence that it actually will, or that conditions have changed noticeably.

Subscribe to receive updates from Registan

This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

For information on reproducing this article, see our Terms of Use


Realist Writer October 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

The difference is that while the Taliban has a chance at winning control over Afghanistan entirely back in 1997 (and thus have no incentive to enter into talks), the Taliban ‘s chances of success are far lower today. Thus, the incentives to enter into a deal is greater for the Taliban.

Realist Writer October 20, 2010 at 10:22 am

Oh wait, reading the present-day article, I can see that the US-Afghan alliance aren’t wanting to talk with the Taliban leader (Mullah Omar), and that there are multiple “Taliban” factions that the US-Afghan alliance is talking to. So that’s a big strike against negotiations actually being successful…you are not planning to talk to ALL the Taliban to end the war, so the war will still continue.

Capt. Monkey October 20, 2010 at 10:24 am

War’s over? I’s can go home now? Josh, if you need me, I’ll be in the Sky Club in Tashkent…

anan October 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

How about this plan:

Commit to doing whatever it takes over the long run to help the ANSF win. If this commitment is believed . . . the Taliban negotiate with the GIRoA in good faith.

DON ANDERSON October 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Folks…calm down, Ok?

We just noted what headless chickens the press is. Maybe ISAF too. and the G I R o A?? For sure.

This negotiation out of desperation move by Petreaus, the headless horseman, is not going to end out better than COIN or Muqtada Sadr Leader of Iraq did.

Let’s not jump like headless zombies into even formally thinking about this too much. Not for the meanwhile, but do know, they are begging both Pakistan and the Taliban. Begging, Begging, Begging.

And…………Planning on giving the country away.

Fact, Fact,Fact,Fact,Fact,Fact-F A C T

Sorry to disappoint but ………..defeat has no friends, and begging is hard on the teeth.

Who will be the Mullah of Islamabad?? is the only question anyone needs to answer. And…will the Revolution come first in Pakistan or Egypt?? There is a line in Vegas, Call and Check.

anan October 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm

“This negotiation out of desperation move by Petreaus, the headless horseman” No, negotiations between Karzai and the Taliban have been ongoing for many years.

The difference now is that Mullah Omar QST is losing in Helmand and fears they might lose in Kandahar, while other rival Taliban factions win in the East and North of Afghanistan, and east of the Durand. Therefore QST has an incentive to negotiate a deal with the GIRoA. Apparently some QST want Southern Afghanistan and for the GIRoA/ANSF/ISAF to get most of the rest while pounding some of the QST’s rival Taliban. Doesn’t this make sense from Mullah Omar’s and Baradar’s point of view?

“is not going to end out better than COIN or Muqtada Sadr Leader of Iraq did.” Ummm, the GoI and ISF won the Iraq war with US help. Muqtada al Sadr is unpopular, didn’t do well in the last election, and had “HIS MILITIA” mismantled. Not sure Mookie ever really controlled “HIS MILITIA” . . . just sayin.

DON ANDERSON October 20, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Love the optimism….Really do….

anan October 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Again, what part is optimistic?

How is saying that Siraj and friends are winning in Logar, Kunar, Nuristan, Nangarhar, Baghlan being “optimistic”?

201st ANA Corps, the oldest in the ANA and the mother of the rest of the ANA, is degrading. The war is being lost in its battlespace [10 provinces.] Is saying this “optimistic”?

The ANSF are mixed. Some units are doing better than others. Acknowledging that is “realism.”

Afghanistan isn’t one war. Every province and subdistrict is its own seperate war. Information is in the details.

Prithvi October 20, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Don…you may want to switch to decaf. If there’s one thing interesting about the ongoing negotiations, which as pointed out, are not a particularly new development, they show that the Taliban, or whatever factions compose our perception of it, are not mindless noble savages inured to suffering and death.

They too operate as rational actors and the US offensive has been taking its toll.

DON ANDERSON October 20, 2010 at 10:48 pm


Prithvi…Agreed, you should read this article, love you optimism also, really do.

Decaf….What time is it in Kabul? Do you know? Does not sound like you are here? New Dehli, London, NY, Washington, Bay Area?

Noble savages..I will ask the Pashtuns to my left what word in Pashtun is that? Do you know any? They just told me what to say to say to you, but I would rather not use the term.

Have a good one Prithvi…read the NYT everything you need to read and know is there, all the best from Kabul….Its clear, the offensive is having an affect and they are routed..

Just told the Pashtuns here with me what the article said. They are laughing. Thanks Man. Have a good night.

Previous post:

Next post: