Peace is in the air. What?!

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Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:59 am

First NK/SK, now Afghanistan/Taliban? Both big maybe's of course. Still...

KABUL (Reuters) - The United States is picking up signs of interest from Taliban elements in exploring the possibility of talks with Kabul to end the more than 16-year-old war, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday as he made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan.

“There is interest that we’ve picked up from the Taliban side,” Mattis told reporters before landing in Kabul, saying the signs dated back several months.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered talks without preconditions with the Taliban insurgents last month, in what was seen by U.S. officials as a major overture from Kabul.

The United States has stepped up assistance to the Afghan military and greatly increased air strikes against the Taliban as part of a regional strategy announced last year, in a bid to break the stalemate and force the insurgents to the negotiating table.

Ghani, during a meeting with Mattis, described the new U.S. strategy as a game changer, allowing Kabul to extend its peace offer to the Taliban without doing so from a position of weakness.

“It has been a game changer because it has forced every actor to re-examine their assumptions,” Ghani said.

Mattis said the goal was to take advantage of Taliban fracturing to peel off insurgents tired of fighting and create a process that could incorporate some Taliban leaders.

He said the positive signals had come from small numbers of insurgents.

“We’ve had some groups of Taliban - small groups - who have either started to come over or expressed an interest in talking,” Mattis said.

“In other words, it may not be that the whole Taliban comes over in one fell swoop. That may be a bridge too far to expect. But there are elements of the Taliban clearly interested in talking to the Afghan government,” he said.

The United States has in the past also expressed hope of peeling off elements of the Taliban and it was unclear how this new effort might be different.

Western diplomats and officials in Kabul say contacts involving intermediaries have been underway with the aim of agreeing on ground rules and potential areas of discussion for possible talks with at least some elements in the Taliban.

However, the insurgents, who seized a district center in western Afghanistan this week, have given no public sign of accepting Ghani’s offer, instead issuing several statements suggesting they intended to keep fighting.

PRESSURE ON PAKISTAN
While the United States has been stepping up battlefield pressure, Afghanistan’s international partners have sought to build diplomatic support from neighboring countries to push the militants to the negotiating table.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has also piled pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militant safe havens on its side of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Mattis said he had seen some positive indications from Islamabad, noting some Pakistani military operations along the border.

Mattis said the goal was to convince the Taliban that they could not win, which would hopefully push them towards reconciliation.

However, Taliban fighters control large parts of the country, the Kabul government itself is deeply divided and thousands of Afghan soldiers and civilians are killed every year.

Uzbekistan is set to host an Afghan peace conference later this month, where participants are expected to call for direct talks between the militant group and Ghani’s government.

However, the Taliban appears likely to miss that conference and have ruled out direct talks with the Western-backed government in Kabul, which they say is an illegitimate, foreign-imposed regime.

They have offered to talk directly to the United States about a possible peace agreement.

Asked whether the United States would be willing to talk directly with the Taliban, Mattis reiterated the U.S. position that the talks should be led by Kabul.

“We want the Afghans to lead and provide the substance to the reconciliation effort,” Mattis said.

Outlining his goals for the trip, Mattis said he wanted to get an assessment of both the re-tooled U.S. war effort as well as the reconciliation efforts.

Reconciliation, Mattis said, was “almost an equal priority of my interest going in.”
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby The Outsider » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:33 am

I'll believe it if it happens.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:37 am

The Outsider wrote:I'll believe it if it happens.

As will we all.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby bucfanclw » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:41 am

The fact that this is clearly being driven by Mattis gives me reason to have a little faith.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:42 am

bucfanclw wrote:The fact that this is clearly being driven by Mattis gives me reason to have a little faith.

Yeah. No one else is involved.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby bucfanclw » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:47 am

Buc2 wrote:
bucfanclw wrote:The fact that this is clearly being driven by Mattis gives me reason to have a little faith.

Yeah. No one else is involved.

Do you know what the phrase "being driven by" means?
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby DreadNaught » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:51 am

Buc2 wrote:
bucfanclw wrote:The fact that this is clearly being driven by Mattis gives me reason to have a little faith.

Yeah. No one else is involved.


Anything that can't be spun as negative news (like peace talks) must therefore be spun away from the allowing the WH to get even a shred of credit.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:53 am

bucfanclw wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Yeah. No one else is involved.

Do you know what the phrase "being driven by" means?

No. I no speaka da Englis too good.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:53 am

DreadNaught wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Yeah. No one else is involved.


Anything that can't be spun as negative news (like peace talks) must therefore be spun away from the allowing the WH to get even a shred of credit.

Right? Heaven forbid anything good happens in his 4 years.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby bucfanclw » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:55 am

Even giving credit to Mattis (who is by far the best appointment by Trump) spins you guys into a fury. Calm down snowflakes...
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:01 pm

Huh?
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby bucfanclw » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:09 pm

Buc2 wrote:Huh?

Damn baby boomers and their poor hearing... MB was right.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:24 pm

bucfanclw wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Huh?

Damn baby boomers and their poor hearing... MB was right.

Execution is the only solution.

...a final solution to borrow a phrase.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Crocaneers » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:26 pm

I think you all know what's next

Spoiler:
THE
END
is
NIGH (c) Croc
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:29 pm

Crocaneers wrote:I think you all know what's next

Spoiler:
THE
END
is
NIGH (c) Croc

GEAH!












wow.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:32 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
bucfanclw wrote:Damn baby boomers and their poor hearing... MB was right.

Execution is the only solution.

...a final solution to borrow a phrase.

Euthanasia sounds kinder. Why you gotta be such a big meanie?
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:38 pm

Buc2 wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:Execution is the only solution.

...a final solution to borrow a phrase.

Euthanasia sounds kinder. Why you gotta be such a big meanie?

I dont care about kids in Asia!
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby DreadNaught » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:39 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Euthanasia sounds kinder. Why you gotta be such a big meanie?

I dont care about kids in Asia!

Beat me to it!!! Too easy...
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:41 pm

DreadNaught wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:I dont care about kids in Asia!

Beat me to it!!! Too easy...

Ooo you almost had it!

You gotta be quicker than that!
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby NYBF » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:25 pm

Nobody is quicker than MB
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:30 pm

NYBF wrote:Nobody is quicker than MB

That's what my wife keeps telling me
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby NYBF » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:32 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
NYBF wrote:Nobody is quicker than MB

That's what my wife keeps telling me


Me too
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:34 pm

NYBF wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:That's what my wife keeps telling me


Me too

Walked right into that one.
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby RedLeader » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:38 pm

#TrumpEffect
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Re: Peace is in the air. What?!

Postby Ken Carson » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:09 am

It sounds more like bombs are in the air.

And there will not be peace. Russia already learned that 40 years ago.
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