The Taliban Believe They Hold all the Cards
With peace talks scheduled next month in Turkey, the Taliban are feeling flush. They are already claiming victory as the Afghan government and military are slowly collapsing. Taliban insurgents are slowly and inexorably taking small bases while encroaching more and more into cities with large populations.
The Taliban have never recognized the Afghan government which they have called a puppet government of the United States. So, if the U.S. administration still believes that the Taliban will enter a power-sharing agreement with the Afghan government, it may be sorely disappointed.
As talks proceeded with the Trump administration, the Taliban gave lip service to what Washington proposed, which was to reduce the violence, enter talks with the Afghan government and cut ties to al-Qaeda. But if anyone truly expected the Taliban to abide by these stipulations, they’d be in the minority right about now. The Taliban, as quoted in a recent New York Times article, are trumpeting remarks as if they’ve already won… and perhaps they have.
Their increasingly arrogant statements such as “we have defeated the enemy,” show that their propaganda machine in full-blown victory mode. Taliban deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani said that the group “will crush the arrogance of the rebellious emperors, and force them to admit their defeat at our hands.”