Just as the Obama administration hoped to start peace talks with the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar, the Taliban launched an attack on President Hamid Karzai’s compound in Kabul.
Last week, Karzai had balked at talks after the Taliban raised the flag of the former Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan above the Doha facility, turning the “political office” into a virtual government-in-exile.
Karzai relented–only to see the Taliban step up their aggressive tactics with a direct attack aimed at the man with whom the Obama administration hoped they would sit at the negotiating table in Qatar.
There is virtually no downside for the Taliban to such attacks, since the Obama administration has long signaled that it intends to withdraw forces from Afghanistan regardless of the outcome of negotiations.
Taliban representatives seemed indifferent to the talks they are meant to be entering, crowing that they had “brought death to the enemy.” The attack targeted an event on Afghan youth. Casualty figures have not been released, though Afghan forces claim they killed all three or four attackers, according to wire reports.