Jaw jaw and war war

Interesting analysis piece in The New York Times, which seems to be confused about why the Taliban appears to be talking AND fighting at the same time…

Back in Afghanistan, though, they have been the same old Taliban: fighters have waged suicide attacks that have taken an increasing toll on civilians, and on Tuesday the militants staged a deadly strike right at the heart of the heavily secured government district in Kabul.

For officials watching the talks, those contradictions offer a picture of a top Taliban leadership taking advantage of two different tracks — orchestrating the fighting element even while setting up a new international diplomatic foothold in Doha. This complicates efforts to pin down the insurgents’ true goals.

Yet this is much the same position as the US, which continues to fight even while desperately trying to get the Taliban into talk. In both cases, the answer lies in the fact that US combat troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The US needs a political solution and needs it fast. And the Taliban can talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and negotiate about its office until the end of next year…


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