A disgruntled security guard this week reportedly executed a prominent Taliban chief he was supposed to be protecting in eastern Afghanistan and proceeded to surrender to Afghan security forces, potentially signaling war weariness among the terrorists.
The execution came amid intensified peace negotiations between the Taliban and the United States that have already yielded some draft agreements, namely the withdrawal of American troops in exchange for counterterrorism assurances.
Referring to a component of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), Khaama Press (KP) reports:
The 201st Silab Corps announced Wednesday that Mawlavi Gul Mohammad alias Sheikh Sahib who was in charge of inviting militants to Taliban ranks was shot dead by his own security guard in [Laghman province’s Alisheng district.
Citing a statement from the ANDSF platoon, KP adds that the guard killed the Taliban leader on Tuesday.
KP further learned from the statement that the “security guard handed himself over to security forces after carrying out the assassination.”
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis indicated about a year ago that some elements of the Taliban had expressed support for engaging in negotiations with the Afghan government war despite their leaders’ ardent opposition to talking to Kabul.
Despite U.S. insistence, the terrorist group continues to refuse to engage in talks with Kabul, which the group believes to be an American puppet government. The group, which considers itself the only legitimate government in Afghanistan, maintains it will only negotiate with the Afghan government after the full withdrawal of foreign troops.
Some Taliban jihadis have indicated that the ongoing negotiations have triggered tensions within the group, particularly over differences in opinion on what peace might look like and the price the narco-jihadis are prepared to pay for it, according to the Australia-based news outlet known as the Conversation.
While some narco-jihadis intend to continue fighting until all foreign troops leave others have expressed a desire to negotiate an end to the war and a possible power-sharing agreement.
Currently, the Taliban narrative dictates that by agreeing to negotiate with the terrorist group, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has accepted defeat and wants to leave the country.
Conceding that a military victory is impossible, the Trump administration has made the political reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban the primary goal of its South Asia strategy aimed at ending the more than 17-year-old war.
Under President Trump, the U.S. has stepped up peace-seeking efforts.
The Taliban is fighting to establish a sharia-compliant Islamic emirate. Terrorists already control or contest about half of Afghanistan and are getting stronger even after their power and influence reached unprecedented proportions under the previous U.S. administration, the American government, echoing Russia, has warned.
Taliban jihadis have repeatedly rejected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of a ceasefire and official recognition as a political group.
U.S.-backed reconciliation between the terrorist group and the Afghan government may allow the Taliban to return to office in Kabul under a power-sharing agreement.
American troops ousted the Taliban regime in late 2001 for sheltering al-Qaeda in the days leading to the devastating 9/11 attacks.
An American withdrawal could make it easier for the Taliban to topple the Afghan government. President Ghani has acknowledged that the Afghan government and security forces would collapse without American financial support.
The Taliban wants to push the United States out, but it wants to keep the flow of American taxpayer funds into Afghanistan going.
A peace agreement could result in U.S. funds being used to train and support Taliban fighters seeking to join the country’s security forces after the possible American withdrawal.
Taliban jihadis have rejected U.S. proposals to leave behind a residual counterterrorism force to ensure the terrorist group keeps promises made under a peace pact.
The war in Afghanistan has come at a tremendous blood and treasure cost to the United States of nearly $1 trillion, 2,285 American military deaths, and 20,452 injuries.
Taliban jihadis generate most of their money from trafficking and cultivating opium and its heroin derivative, a small portion of which is fueling the unprecedented number of fatal drug overdoses that have killed hundreds of thousands in the United States.