Major General Langley said the US knows that a condition-based strategy is necessary, and that the Taliban must engage in talks with the Afghan government.
Afghanistan Still A Priority for Washington: CENTCOM
Major General Michael Langley, United States Central Command Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy, has said that Afghanistan still remains the center of attention for Washington.
Speaking to a panel of experts at the United States Institute for Peace, Langley said that the condition-based strategy for Afghanistan is necessary and that the Taliban must engage in talks with the Afghan government.
“Let me be clear, Afghanistan remains the center of our attention. We know victory will require a political reconciliation. We know that condition-based strategy is necessary, and we know that the Taliban must engage in talks with the Afghan government,” Langley.
Meanwhile, panelists also said that the only solution to the conflict in Afghanistan is negotiations and talks. However they said that the Taliban are facing internal differences regarding the group’s endorsement of peace.
“Within the Taliban organization broadly speaking sort of three camps, when you talk about sort of the future of the organization in Afghanistan, for one you have got the more pragmatic side that is willing to at least attend discussions on a role for the Taliban in a stable political order in Afghanistan, on the other side the spectrum you have is those more extremist views that are happy to continue the fight until foreign forces are out of the country and even until perhaps the Taliban is once again the dominant political actor in Afghanistan. Now the third group I think are those that are if not more pragmatic than generally realistic in understanding that a stable Afghanistan is going to have to include the Taliban but also many other players,” said Jason Campbell, former country director for Afghanistan, office of the secretary of defense.
“The larger question we face here is whether bringing the Taliban, or a faction of the Taliban back into political settlement is going to really end the war,” said Dr. Orzala Ashraf Nemat, chairperson of Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU).
Talks with the Taliban have been dominating the political arena over the past seventeen years. But recent peace efforts indicate that these talks have now entered a critical phase.