Battle Fatigue in Afghanistan

The BBC carries a story that the Taliban are interested in setting up an office in Qatar where dialogue in neutral territory might be more productive than killing.

As usual there are multiple sides to this story. Having some place where people are not hunting you down is valuable for many reasons other than making peace, propaganda, for instance.

I expect that after decades of war, Afghanistan is tired of it and may actually be interested in talking instead of killing. There has to be a lot of movement on all sides to have any effect on the ground. I can see the Taliban having real problems with human rights such as education for women and bombing civilians. I can see the current government having real problems with human rights, such as hunting Talibanis like rabbits and allowing everyone a voice/some control in government. I can see the USA having real problems with human rights, such as killing random people from the air and holding prisoners under torture and without trial. There are lots of entrenched positions to prevent any movement but it’s an election year in USA so anything is possible, even peace. Perhaps the old guard are dying off and the younger folks want their chance to build a nation.

Qatar has long been respected as knowledgeable of the various parties. Perhaps they would be good hosts for some sort of rapprochement. Now, if only Iran and North Korea could come to the table, 2012 might be a better year. Sometimes talk is purely for show and sometimes it starts important movements. We shall see. The world certainly needs a break from war.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to Battle Fatigue in Afghanistan

  1. ch says:

    “I expect that after decades of war, Afghanistan is tired of it and may actually be interested in talking instead of killing.”

    If there did exist anything like “Afghanistan” in a political sense, we might get peace. Instead, that place has been ravaged by civil wars: first between Leftist – eventually supported by the USSR – and Islamists – eventually supported by the USA, then – after both big powers lost interest – it was between different warlords, then the Taliban – even more islamist – against the warlords. I’m wondering if by now there are any non-Islamists left, I fear most of them are dead, in exile or cowed. So the question IMHO is: Are there enough people interested in a rather secular, somewhat democratic state that we should support them ? My hopes are low.

  2. Clarence Moon says:

    Qatar is host to the the US Central Command site where the fracasses in Iraq and Afghanistan are centrally controlled, I believe. They don’t look like a likely mediator to me.

    Do you consider Afghanistan to be in the Middle East? It’s sort of near there, but not really in the Middle East collection of states in my view.

  3. Dr Loser says:


    And I don’t quite know where you pulled that Qatar nonsense from, but … no.

    We’ll weigh my 100% no against your local knowledge over the next couple of years, shall we?

  4. Dr Loser says:

    On the dull side, Robert still seems to think that he understands the Middle East.

    It’s OK, Robert, I can cope with this. Just make a contribution to the local charity box for Canadian vets. If it helps, they didn’t ask to have their legs blown off by a bunch of medieval tribalists who would far rather be left alone to export heroin and castrate members of the tribe over the local mountain range.

    Just give. Giving is good.

  5. Ray says:

    On the bright side, the war on Iraq is over.

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