The U.S. government continues to opt for brute force
Kathy Gannon drops an unsurprising bombshell:
Infuriated that Washington met secretly at least three times with a personal emissary of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Afghan government intentionally leaked details of the clandestine meetings, scuttling the talks and sending the Taliban intermediary into hiding...
In a series of interviews with diplomats, current and former Taliban, Afghan government officials and a close childhood friend of the intermediary, Tayyab Aga, the AP learned Aga is hiding in Europe, and is afraid to return to Pakistan because of fears of reprisals. The United States has had no direct contact with him for months.
This should surprise no one who follows Afghanistan closely. And while it is inevitable this will be played as yet more evidence that Hamid Karzai is out to ruin our day, what it really means is the U.S. government still, to this day, refuses to think of Afghanistan as a political place, where politics actually matter and must be worked through instead of dictated to. I've written of this near ad nauseum for years and years, both within the Department of Defense and here, in public.
No one cares, sadly. The U.S. doesn't really like to work with other governments, it prefers to work on top of, or around them. Hence, it continues to do things like bombing Pakistan regardless of the destabilizing consequences to Pakistan's own politics. These things should not surprise us, not in 2011.