From a statement on the White House website:
The Leaders [Obama and Karzai] said that they would support an office in Doha for the purpose of negotiations between the High Peace Council and the authorized representatives of the Taliban. In this context, the Leaders called on the armed opposition to join a political process, including by taking those steps necessary to open a Taliban office. They urged the Government of Qatar to facilitate this effort. The two Presidents reiterated that the outcomes of peace and reconciliation must respect the historic achievements that Afghanistan has made over the past decade, including protecting the rights that all citizens of Afghanistan, both men and women, guaranteed under the constitution. As a part of the outcome of any process, the Taliban and other armed opposition groups must end violence, break ties with Al Qaeda, and accept Afghanistan’s constitution.
And if the office thing goes well look for the Taliban to be allowed a team in the Afghan Bowling League so they can finally have a crack at unseating reigning champs the Panjshir Pinblasters.
The Taliban confirm the new office, and are already making demands even before the Selectrics have been plugged in:
The Afghan Taliban said on Tuesday they have reached a preliminary agreement to set up a political office Qatar, and asked for the release of prisoners held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
Naturally President Obama will make the Taliban adhere to EEOC hiring regs as a condition of allowing them to open an office, right?
Here’s more about the newest lessees at the Doha Office Park (I’m not even going to ask who’s going to end up covering what I’m guessing will be a rather steep damage deposit because I think I know the answer):
Despite repeated demands from Obama since 2009, the Taliban has not disassociated itself from its fellow jihadis in al-Qaida, even after U.S. forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001 following al-Qaida’s jihad attack in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.
Their alliance is based on shared religious and ideological views, personal ties, beneficial military cooperation and a growing confidence they can seize control of Afghanistan once Obama pulls U.S. forces from the country in 2014.
So, an office it is then.
And Obama is going to allow this, the release of the prisoners to the Taliban. Now doesn't that make complete sense to all of us. It completely invalidates all that our military has done in Afghanistan. I can't believe the audacity of this ..... You fill in the blank. I am so disgusted with him. Impeach, that is my new mantra, impeach him, impeach him, impeach him.
Linda, it is as if Obama is completely ignoring our young brave men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan....and under Obama, the casualities have been significant. Now he intends to wave a magic wand that those lost lives no longer matter.....because Obama wants to open an office for the Taliban to regroup, get stronger and finish the deed against the "infidels." This is wrong on so many levels that I can't go there.
The American people....have been duped by Mr. Affirmative Action Harvard Law Degree Obama.
This post was modified from its original form on 11 Jan, 15:37
This post was modified from its original form on 11 Jan, 15:39
Diane, I am just shaking my head as I can't believe anyone is this ignorant and uncaring; then I remember who we are talking about and yes, he is.
President Barack Obama said U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan will adopt a “support role” starting in the spring of 2013, to allow Afghan police and soldiers to take full responsibility of the country’s security, a nation where 2,053 American soldiers have died since the war started on Oct. 7, 2001.
Seventy-two percent of those casualties occurred during Obama's first term.
“And today we agreed, as Afghan forces take the lead and as President Karzai announces the final phase of the transition, coalition forces will move to a support role this spring,” Obama said Friday at the White House, alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
“Our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans when needed but let me say it as plainly as I can: Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission. Training, advising, assisting Afghan forces,” he said.
Obama added that there will still be a U.S. presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, but the mission of U.S. and coalition troops will begin to shift by the spring of this year.
Last year, 296 U.S. soldiers of all military branches gave their lives in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of fallen soldiers in Afghanistan to 2,053, according to CNSNews.com’s war casualties database. (That is the total as of Jan. 11, 2013, when this story was posted. So far, the Department of Defense has reported no new casualties in 2013.)
For the total 2,053 fallen troops in Afghanistan since the United States began military operations in October 2001, 1,484 have died during the Obama administration, meaning approximately 72 percent of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan have occurred during President Obama’s first term.
CNSNews.com reported in August that the three deadliest years of the Afghan war for U.S. military personnel occurred under Obama: in 2010, 497 fatalities, followed by 2011 with 399 fatalities, and 2009 with 303 fatalities.
The 40 casualties each in May and July 2012 made them the two deadliest months for U.S. troops in Afghanistan this year. Typically, the summer months from June to September have produced high casualty counts due to heavier fighting.
The vast majority of soldier deaths that occur in Afghanistan are combat-related. Examples of non-combat related deaths include illness and accidents.
Leading causes of soldier combat deaths included but were not limited to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), enemy fire, and suicide bombers.
There were also instances of insider attacks, formerly known as green-on-blue attacks, which occur when individuals in Afghan uniforms open fire on International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers.
The number of fallen soldiers in Afghanistan alone reached 2,000 in September of this year. American military deaths under the overall Operation Enduring Freedom surpassed 2,000 back in June.
(Operation Enduring Freedom’s main battlefield is in Afghanistan but it includes smaller military operations in the Philippines, the Horn of Africa, Caribbean, and Trans Sahara, as well as support operations on the high seas from aircraft carriers and other U.S. vessels.)
On Sept. 21, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared an end to the 33,000 U.S. troop surge first announced by President Obama in December 2009. During October, November and December 2012, there were 15, 16 and 9 American casualties, respectively.
This post was modified from its original form on 12 Jan, 6:47
"The surge did accomplish it objectives of reversing the Taliban momentum on the battlefield and dramatically increasing the size and capability of the Afghan national security forces," Panetta said on Sept. 21.
The Obama administration has said it endorses a plan to remove all American combat troops by the end of 2014, when the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) is expected to take full responsibility of security operations in the country.
“We'll be drawing down our forces. Obviously, the Afghan army will assume full responsibility for the security of the country,” Leon Panetta said while visiting Kabul on Dec. 12.
“But we will be there to provide support, to provide training, to provide assistance, to provide help on counterterrorism, and to provide support for the forces that are here. So we will be maintaining an enduring presence here,” he said.
The CNSNews.com database of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan is based on official Department of Defense casualty announcements, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) information, and media accounts.
With the exception of four soldiers who died on ships supporting missions in Afghanistan and 12 who died in Pakistan, the database does not include soldiers supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in other areas of the world.
So, with his stellar accomplishments as commander-in-chief, how are we to have confidence in the decision to back the Taliban having an office in Qatar? Hey, let's just continue to marginalize those that lost their lives fighting the Taliban, shall we, both Afghani and US troops. This is the biggest slap in the face of our military and accomplished with one swift blow by their commander-in-chief. I am not shocked, this is just one more case of an ill-informed, narcissistic anti-American making a decision of this nature.