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The day the Taliban was ready to negotiate surrender terms and we said no.


Diamond Member
Jul 8, 2020
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Taliban fighters brandished Kalashnikovs and shook their fists in the air after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, defying American warnings that if they did not hand over Osama Bin Laden, their country would be bombed to smithereens.
The bravado faded once American bombs began to fall. Within a few weeks, many of the Taliban had fled the Afghan capital, terrified by the low whine of approaching B-52 aircraft. Soon, they were a spent force, on the run across the arid mountain-scape of Afghanistan.

As one of the journalists who covered them in the early days of the war, I saw their uncertainty and loss of control firsthand.

It was in the waning days of November 2001 that Taliban leaders began to reach out to Hamid Karzai, who would soon become the interim president of Afghanistan: They wanted to make a deal.

“The Taliban were completely defeated, they had no demands, except amnesty,” recalled Barnett Rubin, who worked with the United Nations’ political team in Afghanistan at the time.

Messengers shuttled back and forth between Mr. Karzai and the headquarters of the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, in Kandahar. Mr. Karzai envisioned a Taliban surrender that would keep the militants from playing any significant role in the country’s future.

But Washington, confident that the Taliban would be wiped out forever, was in no mood for a deal.

“The United States is not inclined to negotiate surrenders,” Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said in a news conference at the time, adding that the Americans had no interest in leaving Mullah Omar to live out his days anywhere in Afghanistan. The United States wanted him captured or dead."

Of course twenty years later it was the US that effectively gave up the fight to the Taliban under a deal reached by the Trump Administration and implemented by the Biden Administration.

The purpose of this thread is not to place blame on either Trump or Biden but on the neo-cons in the Bush Administration, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Bush himself for not seizing the opportunity to end the war quickly.

Would the Taliban have just faded away if we negotiated a surrender?

Maybe or Maybe not, but it was an opportunity missed. Rather the Taliban regrouped to fight another day, not without an insignificant amount of help from Pakistan.

Just another failure of the George W. Bush Administration we will live with for years to come.
Biden did not implement Trumps deal; try and keep up.

Biden threw the Trump deal our the window and proclaimed un-conditional withdrawal, hence the mess we now have.

Biden owns it and all our allies are coming out saying Biden has no leadership ability.


Libertarian Radical
Feb 8, 2011
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Behind the Orange Curtain
Any attempt at nation building in Afghanistan was doomed to fail. We should have picked a local strong man, declared him King, put him on a throne in Kabul and given him enough artillery to defend the capital and left the rest of the country rot in its stone age barbarism.

If they had accepted the surrender of the Taliban at that point, the nation would still have fallen apart and you would be attacking Bush for ACCEPTING the surrender instead of wiping them out to the last man.
We should have bombed them to dust and never set foot on the ground.

EvilCat Breath

Diamond Member
Sep 23, 2016
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Whoever wrote that dollop of crap depends on ignorant people to buy into it. He never met a muslim. The only way the taliban would surrender is if they were lying.


Diamond Member
Dec 30, 2014
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The Southwestern Desert
Johnlaw That was a reasonable and well thought out post. You will get no argument from me that from a strategy standpoint, we couldn't have done much worse in Afghanistan over the last 20 years. That does NOT exonerate Joe Biden from making an absolute catastrophe out of the final pullout.

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