Keywords: obama, taliban, prisoner release, us hostage tape
The Washington Post is reporting that the Obama administration, engaged in those peace negotiations with the Taliban, have secretly been releasing captured Taliban fighters. The secret releases apparently a part of a strategy to strengthen the administration's hand in peace talks with the terrorist group.
The report goes on to say that these are "strategic releases" designed to give the U.S. a bargaining chip in some areas of Afghanistan where international forces continue to struggle to exercise control.
But these revelations are not sitting well with many who wonder why were are seemingly bending over to make nice with a group that plays by a set of rules foreign from our own engagement tactics and strategies.
Under the program, the fighters must promise to give up violence and are threatened with further punishment. But with no way to stop them from taking up arms until they are back on the battlefield, many are questioning the wisdom of this good faith gesture.
"Everyone agrees they are guilty of what they have done and should remain in detention. Everyone agrees that these are bad guys. But the benefits outweigh the risks," a US official told the Post.
I for one have one simple comment; Interesting new strategy in our longest running conflict. I wonder why it didn't occur to Roosevelt, Churchill, Eisenhower and Montgomery?
In his speech last week from Afghanistan, President Barack Obama confirmed that the United States is pursuing talks with the Taliban, and that there are signs of interest in a negotiated peace.
"We have made it clear that they [the Taliban] can be a part of this future if they break with Al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws. Many members of the Taliban -- from foot soldiers to leaders -- have indicated an interest in reconciliation. A path to peace is now set before them," Obama said.
But just as news of the secretary prison releases surfaced, Al Qaeda released a new tape of a 70-year-old American hostage Warren Weinstein. Weinstein, kidnapped eight months ago while in Pakistan pleads to the President to save his life.
"My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live. If you don't accept the demands, then I die. It's important that you accept the demands and act quickly and don't delay."