London – The longest “war” in US contemporary history has come to an end with Washington signing a negotiated peace deal with the Taliban today, indicating the failure of a conflict touted as the original ‘War on Terror’.
The deal represents a full circle in policy, underlined by the fact that the Taliban negotiation team included former Guantanamo Bay detainees – once deemed “the worst of the worst”.
Sadly, it took the killing oftover 200 000 people in Afghanistan, programmes of mass torture and imprisonment, and the death of over 2000 US soldiers, to reach the realisation that the alledged ‘War on Terror’ was a failure and that dialogue was the way forward.
Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and someone who lived in Afghanistan during the war said:
“I was held by the US military in Bagram airbase in a building that was built by the USSR during its occupation of Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan have suffered occupation by two global superpowers over four decades. The USSR, met its end following its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan and the other, the United States, has been desperate for a way out for years. That way out has ironically been facilitated by torture survivors and former Guantanamo prisoners.”
“CAGE has been attacked many times for advocating dialogue with the Taliban yet, the US administration under Donald Trump has now negotiated peace with them. Hundreds of thousands of peoples lives could have been spared had the appetite for dialogue existed before. We stand proudly behind our call for dialogue and negotiations with the Taliban. It should have happened a long time ago.”
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