McCain hits peace talks with Taliban, troop withdrawal (WASHINGTON TIMES) By Ashish Kumar Sen 04/19/12)
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The Obama administration’s efforts to engage the Taliban in peace
talks and its “fixation” on a 2014 deadline to withdraw all combat
troops from Afghanistan have been “strategically debilitating” and
signal that the U.S. has “lost the will for this fight,” Sen. John
McCain said Wednesday.
“It sends the signal to everyone in Afghanistan and the region …
[that] we are hell-bent on leaving Afghanistan regardless of
conditions on the ground,” Mr. McCain, the top Republican on the
Senate Armed Services Committee, said at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace in Washington.
“None of this may be true, but I can assure you that it is the
perception in Afghanistan and the region,” he added. “And perception
Mr. McCain said the Taliban has no incentive to make peace as long as
they think that the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan.
The Taliban announced last month that it was suspending peace talks
with the U.S.
The militants so far have only talked about opening an office in
Qatar and the release of five of its top operatives from the U.S.
military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“Reconciliation with the Taliban … will happen when we have broken
their will to keep fighting,” Mr. McCain said. (© 2012 The Washington
Times, LLC. 04/19/12)
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