Speaking today at a Defense Department briefing, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell insisted that there was no chance in the near term for reconciliation with the Taliban and that the only thing that could promote such a move was more conflict.
The comment comes as the Afghan War enters its 10th year, and as a number of people begin to wonder if the war is ever going to come to an end. Officials have occasionally trotted out the notion of a Taliban reconciliation as an “end” strategy.
But at the same time, that strategy seems to forever be attached to the assumption that the Taliban won’t possibly agree to terms acceptable to the US with the war in as shoddy a state as it currently is, and that the US has to keep fighting the conflict in the name of coercing better terms out of the insurgency.
Which seems unlikely, as every escalation of the war by the US-led occupation forces has made the security situation even worse, and that situation, combined with massive fraud has left the Karzai government’s credibility slipping lower and lower.
War exhaustion may be on the rise from all sides, but none of them appear to be exhausted enough to consider a peace deal that doesn’t give them everything they demanded, which is part of the reason the conflict seems destined to continue well into its second decade.