*U.S. to hold talks with Taliban : Hope flickered in war-torn Afghanistan on Tuesday as national security forces formally took over security leadership and peace talks with the Taliban are now in the works. NATO-led troops transferred security responsibility to Afghan forces.
The United States and an Afghan government group dedicated to peace and reconciliation will hold talks with the Taliban militant group in Qatar. 1. Are the Afghan troops up to the task? 2. What are the conditions for peace? 3. How big a threat do the Taliban still pose? 4. What are the biggest challenges? 5. What support will the United States and allies provide?
Though the Afghan Army’s death rates have outstripped those for international forces in recent years, the new figures show the widest margin yet, as more and more Afghan units have taken the field. International forces were reported to have lost about 400 soldiers in 2012, the lowest number since 2008.
The Afghan forces could splinter along ethnic line and prompt civil war, the nation could plunge into a deep recession, or the Kabul government — plagued with corruption and still fragile despite efforts to establish its authority — would remain too weak to hold off a Taliban takeover. Just a 45-minute drive south of Kabul, residents of Wardak province directly feel the tenuousness. The province is a battleground for Afghan and coalition forces trying to squash hotbeds of the Taliban. Residents quickly warn visitors that it’s dangerous just to go past a checkpoint less a kilometer (half-mile) outside the provincial capital, Maidan Shahr.
In Afghanistan, Businesses Plan Their Own Exits: America may be struggling to come up with a viable exit plan for Afghanistan, but Abdul Wasay Manani is sure of his. This month, Mr. Manani, 38, flew to India for 14 days to scout out a new business, and a new home, ready to leave Afghanistan and everything he worked to build here, just in case things fall apart when most Americans and other foreign troops leave in 2014. “If the Taliban come like last time, ordering people around with whips, I can’t stay here,” he said. “I have to leave this country to keep my family safe.”
Many Afghans share his concern. In this environment, troubling indicators are not hard to find. More than 30,400 Afghans applied for asylum in industrialized nations in 2011, the highest level in 10 years and four times the number seeking asylum in 2005. The only Western bank operating here said on Wednesday that it would be leaving. Piles of cash equaling about a quarter of Afghanistan’s annual economic output were physically carried out of Afghanistan last year.
I just do not get it. If those people know how bad their life is going to be under the Taliban then why do they not fight to defeat them? *Vietnam all over again regardless of what they say. They are now offering the Taliban to join in the Government.
I really do not care what they do. Our soldiers did their job. We should get them out now with heads held high for a job well done. They have performed magnificently.The Taliban are going to take over again regardless and the people know it that is why everyone who can is making preparations to get out now.