Surprise! Taliban and Al-Qaeda are Worlds Apart

Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Taliban leader Mullah Omar
Contrary to the established perception that they are of one mind, the Taliban and al-Qaeda are not in lockstep. In fact, the Taliban in Afghanistan could be persuaded to renounce the infamous terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden.
According to Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, the two groups did not get along at times before the September 11 attacks, and they have continued to spar since. Also, in their report, the authors claim that Taliban leaders were not informed by al-Qaeda in advance of the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. “Bin Laden effectively manipulated the Taliban, using their lack of international experience to advance his own goals…. Significant parts of the senior Taliban leadership, along with rank-and-file commanders, were outraged at bin Laden’s abuse of their
hospitality and his blatant disregard for their government.”
Van Linschoten and Kuehn have worked in Afghanistan for years and previously edited a Taliban diplomat’s autobiography.
The authors advocate for the U.S. to open peace negotiations with the Taliban before it is too late. Their position is that the longer the war drags on, the more likely a younger generation of Taliban will assume positions of leadership and become emboldened against any settlement with the West.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Evidence of 2002 Taliban Offer Damages Myth of al Qaeda Ties (by Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service)
Separating the Taliban from al-Qaeda: The Core of Success in Afghanistan (by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, Center on International Cooperation) (pdf)


Reason 12 years ago
right. A lot of people have been trying to explain that for last decade. Taliban werre sheltering OBL etc because of their tribal code of honor and a decent discussion with them could have saved us this unending stupid war. Greg Mortensen also briefly talks in his book on how Taliban were desperately trying to reach white house in 2001 through its public information line to try and negotiate. 100,000+ dead - endless war and millions more enemies for us. Because bush wanted revenge. Idiot.

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