Paradox in the language of American officials is ruining prospects of peace talks for Afghanistan. The US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad in a brazen speech has said Afghanistan could become another Syria. His attempt was to warn the Afghan government about consequences of downplaying the Taliban in peace negotiations.
That statement has caused a furore because it seems blatantly designed to hound Afghans. The language Khalilzad is wielding has moved from buoyancy and optimism to blatant apocalyptic narratives and bullying – which inadvertently throws life buoys to the Taliban and cedes valuable leverage over the militants. It marks the beginning of a new era in the way US peace quest is perceived in Afghanistan, raising doubts about America’s intent in siding with the Taliban.
America’s ambivalence has caused an intensification of violence. Taliban have increased the pressure in negotiations and hostilities in battleground against Afghan people. A dangerous escalation of militant attacks is pushing Afghanistan to the brink. This steep security deterioration can only be attributed to the US-Taliban peace deal in February. That agreement gave the militants a breathing space to expand and infiltrate.
The US inevitably seems seldom backward in coercion. They bamboozled Afghanistan into freeing thousands and thousands of Taliban prisoners in government captivity. That was a colossal strategic folly which amplified Taliban’s combat power and weakened Afghan security forces.
The main issue is constantly neglected and that is the people and their desire for peace. But people’s relevance in this crucial matter stands depleted. As they bear the brunt of extremism and violence, they should be the ultimate decision makers, not the United States.