June 25, 2024

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“Peace with the Taliban is possible, but we still have to talk to them.”

Former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhtar Brahimi, 88, was appointed Afghanistan’s special envoy to the United Nations on October 3, 2001, from July 1997 to October 1999. At the same time, a similar task applies to Iraq. In these two countries, the United States gave him a combination of political and institutional issues. He left Afghanistan in 2004 and the UN in 2005. For a few more months, he was a member of a peace committee, along with former senior politicians and Nobel laureates.

How do you qualify for a US departure from Afghanistan after twenty years?

This is not a military defeat. It’s like French and Algeria. The United States just decided to leave. They have loved it since the day they killed bin Laden. After that, there is no better time to go out. Was forced to leave the Soviet Union in 1989, and in the XIXe Century, the British suffered real defeats.

The article is reserved for our subscribers Read more Afghanistan, a dangerous trap for empires

Then, why do you always talk about American defeat, it is the victory of the Taliban, it is the reason for their tactical genius. Having started their offensive in the north is a great idea. Everyone in the south was waiting for them because it was the land they had acquired. Before they became Islamists, they were Afghans who did not give up. Pakistan is said to have chewed their work, but did not even say why there are intelligent and educated Taliban. This is not the first world power to leave Afghanistan.

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Can we imagine any other end in sight than this brutal fall of the Afghan regime and the chaos of the expulsion?

Yes. Peace with the Taliban is possible. But we had to talk to them before and after their fall in 2001. However, there was a unanimous refusal to speak with them. In the years following the Bonn Conference at the end of 2001, which laid the foundation for the state of Afghanistan, it was not possible to consolidate them. To the American neoconservatives in power, Donald Rumsfeld [secrétaire à la défense du président George W. Bush] At the forefront, a good Taliban prisoner or a Taliban dead.

Read more The last American soldiers to leave Kabul ended their 20-year presence in Afghanistan

In fact, they did not defeat the Taliban, they dissolved them. 200,000 to 300,000 people, militants, executives, were still in large numbers in Afghanistan or Pakistan. When I told Americans, “Don’t you think you need to know what they think? , I have no answer. Pakistan, historically close to the Taliban, may have weighed in, but it was offside. For Iran, Russia, India, the United States and their English or French allies, that is “Forget the Taliban” [oubliez les talibans].

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