Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave an interview on Pakistani television in which he implored Taliban leader Mullah Omar to return to the country and compete in the next presidential election. Karzai promised to be “wholly solely responsible for his safety.”
But top Taliban official Mullah Brother phoned Reuters rejecting the offer “by the Afghan’s puppet and slave President Hamid Karzai.” He insisted that Karzai “only says and does what he is told by America,” and that he was in no position to negotiate. Indeed, the US State Department is still offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of Mullah Omar, so it is unclear how President Karzai planned to guarantee his safety if he were to return to a nation still crawling with US troops.
Mullah Omar has no reason to sit down and negotiate with Karzai. Right now, the Taliban are winning this.
It appears that the military leadership of both the US and NATO suffered from selective amnesia when planning their "strategy", if one can actually call it strategy.
Somewhere, in military play books, it is writ large that you absolutely cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air, as the US debacle in Viet Nam should have proven to any military person with a semblance of a brain.
So, what has been the US and NATO "strategy" in Afghanistan?>
Increased aerial bombings, which guarantees two things will happen.
First, you're going to kill one hell of a lot of non-combatants (women, kids, the elderly, the medically fragile, etc.).
Secondly, you're going to radicalize those left standing even further away from the Karzai government.
Apparently, we're two for two with this "strategy"; we've killed a lot of civilians, and made the Taliban look like a reasonable alternative to the existing government.
The US's own military protocol indicated that we'd need 400,000 pairs of boots on the ground to handle this occupation successfully.
And what have we got there now (not counting the Afghan Army) is around 48,000 troops, just a little more than 10% of the number actually needed to pull this off. And although fresh troops have been promised to Karzai by Washington, their deployment is completely dependent upon the speed with which those troops can leave Iraq.
The US and NATO leadership couldn't have bungled this any worse than if they had done it deliberately.