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Adam Boehler: Negotiating with the Taliban – here are the lessons I learned

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25.08.2021

Adam Boehler, who has negotiated with the Taliban, says groups like the Taliban respond to diplomacy with 'a strong hand' but pulling troops out of Afghanistan took away the U.S.'s leverage.

It was a surreal experience to meet the Taliban. I sat down with them for talks twice alongside U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad in Spring 2020. Make no mistake, they are a very tribal militia, but they are disciplined and operate as serious negotiators.

Despite their appearances, I always took them seriously and I never forgot that I was sitting across from fervent terrorists. In the trying times ahead, we must understand the enemy we face with no illusions.

The Taliban are patient. After being routed by NATO forces in 2001, the Taliban regrouped and mounted a growing insurgency despite the death of scores of its leaders. Many of the Taliban’s leaders and members taking power today are brutal and steeled men who have fought for decades.

REP. MIKE ROGERS: BIDEN, HARRIS, WE NOW HAVE A NEW TERROR SAFE HAVEN IN AFGHANISTAN. WHAT'S YOUR PLAN?

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