Monday, October 06, 2008

"Talking to the Taliban"

The normally bellicose Daily Telegraph now thinks "Talking to the Taliban" is on the table (from the Opinion section).

Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, Britain's most senior military commander in the field, says that we should not expect "a decisive military victory". This should serve as a timely wake-up call in Westminster and Washington.

Stomach-wrenching though such a course would be, both Northern Ireland and South Africa provide examples of where negotiations have worked. Similarly in Iraq, the Americans struck a deal with Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq's Anbar province, allying them to the US and not al-Qaeda, thereby reducing violence.

The Government has a responsibility to our Armed Forces to ensure casualties are kept to a minimum: pursing a more flexible strategy may be one way of doing that.

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