Doha and the Taliban

An internal “dissent channel cable” that objects to State Department consideration of closing the Doha, Qatar, office through which supposed negotiations with the Taliban have been conducted has been leaked to the NLMSM by “current and former US officials.”

According to the dissenters, it would be a mistake to close off this diplomatic channel, as it would signal our disdain for negotiation with the Taliban.  These worthies also express disdain for National Security Adviser LtGen HR McMaster’s support for a “fight, then talk” process aimed at producing incentives for the Taliban to negotiate seriously.

There are a couple points to be made about the cable and its dissenters that go directly to the credibility of the dissenters.

The leak of this internal document is an example of the dishonesty of the Obama holdovers and ex-holdovers who are the “current and former US officials” who leaked it.

The wish to keep open the Doha office, which has produced exactly zero results over the years, is an example of those persons’ incompetence.

There are lots of channels for diplomacy available; when the Taliban get serious about wanting peace and Afghan safety, they know how to contact us.  Ideally, battlefield results from fighting first and talking afterward will produce that seriousness.  That part remains to be seen, but it has nothing to do with the utility of maintaining a failed chat room.

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