The Taliban has published an open letter urging peace negotiations as the United States makes Afghanistan the main effort of its air campaign.
— Zabihullah (ذبیح الله م ) (@Zabihullah_4) February 14, 2018
According to the U.S. military, terrorist groups, mainly the Taliban, control or contest about 45 percent of Afghanistan.
Moreover, Afghanistan is currently producing historic levels of opium and its heroin derivative, generating up to 65 percent in funding for the Taliban that allows the group to continue to wage war, according to data from the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.
In the letter, Taliban jihadists urge “the American people” and “peace-loving congressmen” to urge U.S. President Trump to end the nearly 17-year-old war, stating:
Afghans have continued to burn for the last four decades in the fire of imposed wars. They are longing for peace and a just system but they will never tire from their just cause of defending their creed, country and nation against the invading forces of your war-mongering government because they have rendered all the previous and present historic sacrifices to safeguard their religious values and national sovereignty.
Reconciliation between the terrorist group and Kabul is already a significant component of U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy to end the conflict in Afghanistan.
The letter notes:
If the policy of using force is exercised for a hundred more years and a hundred new strategies are adopted, the outcome of all of these will be the same as you have observed over the last six months following the initiation of Trump’s new strategy. … Insisting on prolonging the war in Afghanistan and maintaining American troop presence is neither beneficial for America nor for anyone else, rather it endangers the stability of the entire world.
The Taliban maintains the precondition of total U.S. military withdrawal before talking peace with the Kabul government.
U.S. officials have refused to abide by any conditions set forth by the Taliban.
To persuade the American public that the U.S. military will never win in Afghanistan, the Taliban cites the “3,546 American and foreign soldiers” killed, “more than 20,000 American forces injured,” and an “87% rise” in opium and heroin production in 2017.
The group also mentions the analysis by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a watchdog agency, that Taliban control on the ground has reached unprecedented levels.
Taliban terrorists also highlight the “tens of billions of dollars” devoted to Afghanistan “collected from you in tax and revenue” but then given “to thieves and murderers.”
Since the war began in October 2001, the United States has spent nearly $877 billion, including about $45 billion allocated for this year alone.
An unidentified spokesperson for the U.S. State Department reportedly responded to the peace-seeking letter, saying the ball is in the Taliban’s court to end their violent terror campaign.
“The Taliban statement alone does not show willingness to engage in peace talks. The Taliban’s recent horrific terror attacks in Kabul speak louder than these words,” declared the spokesperson, according to the Guardian. “The Afghan government can only negotiate to end the war if the Taliban are ready. The recent attacks show this is not the case.”
Soon after the president unveiled his Afghan war plan in August 2017, U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of U.S.-NATO troops in Afghanistan, said the strategy is “determined” to pressure the Taliban into reconciliation and a political settlement with the Kabul government by making the jihadists realize they cannot win.
Under President Trump, the U.S. has launched a record number of airstrikes in Afghanistan against terrorist groups like the Taliban.
The Taliban recently invited U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to discuss peace negotiations after the lawmaker called for an end the war.