Obama’s dreams of a humiliating negotiated surrender by U.S. forces dashed.
KABUL (AP) —The Afghan Taliban has suspended preliminary peace talks with the United States and will forgo opening a political office in Doha due to Washington’s “alternating and ever changing position,” the group said in a statement on Thursday.
It was not immediately clear whether the decision was related to Sunday’s killing of 16 Afghan civilians, apparently by a rogue U.S. staff sergeant, or the burning last month of several Korans on a U.S. military base. Both incidents sparked widespread outrage in Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s announcement came as U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was concluding a trib to Kabul to meet with President Hamid Karzai. The two discussed, among other things, the contentious issue of whether the U.S.-led NATO coalition should be able to continue launching night raids on Taliban leadership.
U.S. military officials tout the raids by U.S. and Afghan special operations forces as essential to defeating the Taliban insurgency. Karzai has complained that the raids produce too many casualties.