Thursday, December 18, 2008

Talking with the Taliban

Folks talk about whether we ought to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban. Well, we're past that. Not because of idiotic neo-con screeds about how we can "win" in Afghanistan by cleaning up the Afghan "government". But, rather, because we're in the same position to negotiate with the Taliban today that Adolph Hitler was in to negotiate with the Soviet Union on April 29, 1945: I.e., a position of abject defeat. We've lost. We can't supply enough fuel and ammunition by air via the rough airstrips of Afghanistan to keep our troops fueled and moving, no more than the French could at Dien Bien Phu, and the Taliban have cut off the land logistics routes. This isn't Khe Sahn where we're bumping supplies a hundred miles over the jungle at low altitudes. Kirachi, the port in Pakistan where all our stuff gets unloaded off ships, is 700 miles and 5900 feet altitude from Kabul.

Any negotiation with the Taliban today will be similar to any attempt by Hitler on April 29 1945 to negotiate with the Soviets: a disdainful laugh, followed by the demand to unconditionally surrender. That's the reality of the situation. Unless we can get that land logistics route re-opened, there simply is no "there" there, and nothing to negotiate.

-- Badtux the Reality-based Penguin

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