Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Russia Chides US ‘Dead-End’ Strategy to Force Afghan Peace Process by Subduing Taliban

Russia Chides US ‘Dead-End’ Strategy to Force Afghan Peace Process by Subduing Taliban

MOSCOW - Moscow has criticized Trump's new strategy of pacifying the Taliban to force a negotiated peace process in Afghanistan, which the group refuses.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized the new U.S.-Afghan strategy as doomed from its inception and a continuation of the failed policies of past administrations, which narrowly focused on the continued use of military force as a means to pacify the 16-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO occupation.
“The main emphasis in the new strategy, which was announced by Washington, is made on settlement through use of force … we believe that it’s a dead-end approach,” Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters, according to RT.
His comments were echoed in a news conference held in Moscow by the foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova who likewise criticized the focus on a “military solution to the Afghan issue, including through beefing up foreign military contingents.”
“This approach is in tune with the prescriptions for Afghanistan issued by the previous U.S. administration, which, as is known, failed to improve the security in the region,” she added. "For our part, we are willing to continue to assist Kabul in training and equipping its national security forces as the main guarantor of security in Afghanistan, as well as in advancing the national reconciliation process."
The comments were a response to U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Monday of a “new approach” to the ongoing war, which he claimed was meant to “prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for Islamists aiming to attack the United States.”
Trump also said that the U.S. military would assist Kabul in its fight against "terrorists" such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State group while noting that U.S. troops “will fight to win.
In a comment widely interpreted as leaving open the door to negotiations, Trump also commented, "perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban and Afghanistan, but nobody knows if or when that will ever happen."
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson further clarified the comments Tuesday, leaving no question that the U.S. is hoping to use force to ensure a negotiated end to the war.
“I think the President was clear this entire effort is intended to put pressure on the Taliban to have the Taliban understand: You will not win a battlefield victory. We may not win one, but neither will you,” Tillerson said. “And so at some point we have to come to the negotiating table and find a way to bring this to an end.”
“Afghanistan ... can choose its form of government that best suits the needs of its people – as long as it rejects terrorism, never provides territory in Afghanistan to provide safe haven for terrorists, and accommodates all of the groups represented inside of Afghanistan, ethnic groups and others,” the secretary added. “ How they want to organize themselves is up to them … So we want to facilitate a reconciliation peace process, and we will facilitate them coming to some conclusion around how they want to govern themselves.” (RT)