Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Analysts: Talks between Kabul, Taliban hurt relations with US, others

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Stars and Stripes, 4 February 2014

AAN's Thomas Ruttig is among the three analysts quoted in this article, the others being Michael Keating of Chatham House and Graeme Smith of ICG. Thomas is quoted as saying:

“Karzai has been treated like the leader of a colonialized country for many years. So some of his frustration about the U.S. also can be explained, particularly when it comes to talking to the Taliban, through Qatar, where he has been excluded from the beginning while everyone had told him he was in the lead,” said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network. …

Informal and formal contact with factions of the Taliban [I spoke of “individuals” not factions], or those claiming to represent the Taliban, have been going on for years without results, Ruttig said, and little indicates that will change soon.

“[Karzai] seems to hope that at least an opening of such a channel is realistic before he leaves office,” Ruttig said. “Of course, it is contradictory — the BSA and the Taliban demanding the withdrawal of all foreign soldiers. Maybe Karzai hopes he can persuade the Taliban [to accept] some presence in exchange for a part in running the country — unrealistic as this seems to be.”


BSA Karzai Taleban talks