Talibanapalooza

A peace process in pieces

Things have been better in Kabul. And everyone’s got ideas how the peace process is going. ISIS? Just wants to watch the world burn.

WTAF is happening in K-town? Because it’s not enough that ISIS-K wants a seat at the table, they’re pissed they didn’t get an invite to the party. Any party. So they blew the holy fuck out of a Shia wedding.

“We will take revenge for every civilian drop of blood. Our struggle will continue against [ISIL], we will take revenge and will root them out.”

That’s current Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, who’s also up for re-election. In about a month. So, that’s not happening.

All of which is making glorious fodder for an American president looking desperately for a foreign policy win.

And His Trumpness might be looking to a speedy exit from the graveyard of reasonable intervention to make the case that he’s got all the winning locked the fuck up. Which is making it super hard for American and Afghan negotiators to get their job done.

“You appoint someone to be your primary negotiator who’s empowered to carry out these meetings, and then six weeks later you tell everyone you’re handing your adversary half of what they want for nothing?” asked a former defense official who was working on Afghanistan issues at the time.

And when all else fails, because all roads lead to Islamabad, blame Pakistan. For this next bit, wherever you read “Taliban,” insert “Pakistani government.”

“The responsibility of all these attacks — which are carried out with same tactics as the Taliban — goes to the Taliban,” said Massoud Andarabi, Afghanistan’s interior minister, even after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the wedding bombing on Saturday.

“It is the Taliban who have created the networks that make possible such terrorist attacks in our cities, and now they claim responsibility when they want for an attack and not when they don’t,” Mr. Andarabi said.

So yeah. No fucking clue what happens next. But here’s a few theories:

  • Ghani puts the election off until a peace deal gets done
  • There will not be a full withdrawal of US forces for decades yet
  • A contractor surge as the uniformed “boots on the ground” head for the land of the Big PX

Oh. And watch this space. Because there will be blog.