The New York Times, last month, reported as follows:
For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.[The Obama administration, cognizant of the fact that it had been duped all along, has now altered its strategy, somewhat.]
But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.
“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”...
NATO and Afghan officials said they held three meetings with the man...
As recently as last month, American and Afghan officials held high hopes for the talks. Senior American officials, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, said the talks indicated that Taliban leaders... were at least willing to discuss an end to the war.
The American officials said they and officials of other NATO governments were helping to facilitate the discussions, by providing air transport and securing roadways for Taliban leaders coming from Pakistan.
Last month, White House officials asked The New York Times to withhold Mr. Mansour’s name from an article about the peace talks, expressing concern that the talks would be jeopardized — and Mr. Mansour’s life put at risk — if his involvement were publicized....
It is also important to note, what was reported several months ago, namely that, as part of the aforementioned strategy of reconciling with the enemy, the U.S. released certain Taliban prisoners, hoping to reintegrate them into Afghan society and subsequently win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people:
The young Taliban prisoner was led to a sweltering military tent, seated among 17 village elders and then, faced a chief accuser brandishing a document with the elders’ signatures or thumbprints. Capt. Scott A. Cuomo, a United States Marine commander who was acting as the prosecutor, told the prisoner: “This letter right here is a sworn pledge from all of your elders that they’re vouching for you and that you will never support the Taliban or fight for the Taliban ever again.”From McClatchy Newspapers, June 20, 2010:
After a half-hour “trial,” the captain rendered the group’s judgment on the silent prisoner, Juma Khan, 23, whom the Marines had seized after finding a bomb trigger device, ammunition and opium buried in his yard. Mr. Khan’s father and grandfather, who was one of the elders, were among the group. “So on behalf of peace, your family, your grandfather,” Captain Cuomo solemnly said, “we’re going to let you go.”...
Acting under military guidelines aimed at persuading low-level fighters to lay down their arms, commanders repeat the mantra that the United States will never kill its way to victory in Afghanistan. They say that in a counterinsurgency war intended to win over the population, reintegration is crucial...
Military officials describe reintegration so far as sporadic at best, an interim effort ahead of a more formal process that they hope the Afghan government will adopt at a political summit meeting in Kabul in coming weeks.
Afghanistan's controversial new commission formed to release suspected Taliban prisoners has set free 14 detainees already, primarily from U.S. custody, and more than two dozen more releases are imminent, Afghan officials told McClatchy on Sunday.The reason I'm rehashing all of this right now is due to an article I read in today's Washington Examiner, entitled "Catch-and-release of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan angers troops.":
McClatchy has discovered the committee... is apparently getting co-operation from the U.S. military in Afghanistan. The committee is now pouring over lists of more detainees....
Robert Everdeen, a spokesman for the U.S. prison at the Bagram air base, now known as the detention facility at Parwan, said that "we have freed 12 detainees within the last week,"... He added that 20 more detainees were expected to be freed "in the near future."
More than 500 suspected Taliban fighters detained by U.S. forces have been released from custody at the urging of Afghan government officials, angering both American troops and some Afghans who oppose the policy on the grounds that many of those released return to the battlefield to kill NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians...I beg to differ a tad bit with that assessment.
For American combat troops in Afghanistan, the release of suspect Taliban is seen as a symptom of the corruption of the Karzai government...
For indeed, the release of suspect Taliban, rather than being 'a symptom of the corruption of the Karzai government' is, in actuality, a symptom of the inept and corrupt policies of the Obama administration who, in its zeal to latch on to an exit strategy, no matter how weak and lame the exit strategy may be, believed it could simlpy wave its magic wand and rehabilitate the terrorists.
As the aforementioned New York Times article noted, "Military officials describe reintegration... as an interim effort ahead of a more formal process that they hope the Afghan government will adopt at a political summit meeting in Kabul in coming weeks."
The Obama administration is pulling the strings, Karzai is simply following orders.
As it turned out, Obama's reconciliation and reintegration bid was all a waste of time and energy, which led to plenty of spilled blood and countless deaths among US troops.
One final footnote: Several months ago, the Guardian UK reported that 80% of prisoners released from the US-run Camp Bucca in Iraq have rejoined terrorists:
Iraqi security chiefs are blaming a big rise in violence this year on detainees released from the contentious American prison system who used their time in custody to appoint new leaders and plot mayhem after their release...Many of these former detainees, the Guardian notes, were behind a slew of bombings and attacks that took place in Iraq.
Major General Ahmed Obeidi al-Saedi, who leads the sixth division of the Iraqi army in south and west Baghdad, claims as many as 80% of detainees have either aligned, or realigned with militant groups, mostly to al-Qaida in Iraq, or its affiliates. He said 86 former inmates of the US prisons, known as Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca, have been rearrested since 10 March.
I say to you emphatically that 80% who have been released from Bucca have returned to work with the terrorists and have in fact become stronger," said General Saedi, whose area of command has been increasingly under attack over the past two months.
"We ask them, did they finish their time in prison rehabilitated psychologically and they say 'no, it was the perfect environment to reorganise al-Qaida'."
And although US officials say the aforementioned detainees were released into Iraqi custody, the decision to hand them over to the Iraqis has brought about a dramatic increase in violence in Iraq.
Hence, there is no need to blame Mr. Karzai or anyone else for the aforementioned carnage, when, in reality, the primary culprits are sitting in the White House.