Well Known Biases

Politics, Economics, and the Law


After more than a decade of fighting in Afghanistan everyone is tired. The Obama administration has resumed talks with the Taliban, and despite some setbacks there’s optimism, at least in some quarters.

Thus far the Taliban are refusing to talk with the U.S.-backed Afghan government, desiring instead to talk directly with the U.S. Why not cut out the middle-man, right? Pakistan, which has been accused of exercising control over the Talibansays it will back peace talks, as long as they’re “Afghan-led.” Rumors of talks taking place is Saudi Arabia are being denied.

So what’s the bottom line? It appears that after ten years of war with insurgents we’d like to leave soon, and somewhat gracefully. Perhaps we have somewhere else to be. So with thousands dead, and an enormous price tag hanging hanging on it, we’ll turn the country back over to the government we toppled, and leave it to the diplomats and intelligence services to sort out whether it can be made into a client state. You can bet that both the United States and Pakistan will be trying. In the final analysis, will anything have been accomplished?

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