The US Army Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey said Thursday that the Taliban group in Afghanistan should take advantage of what may be a shrinking window of opportunity to seek a negotiated end to the conflict in Afghanistan.
“I don’t give military advice to the Taliban, but if I were giving them advice, I’d tell them their negotiating position is not going to improve, it’s going to erode,” Dempsey said.
The chairman spoke after meeting NATO military leaders in Brussels to discuss Afghanistan and the way ahead there with NATO and partner-country chiefs of defense.
“It would seem to me that the Taliban would realize that their opportunity to reconcile or reintegrate is a wasting opportunity,” Dempsey quoted in a report by Pentagon’s official news agency said.
He said, “If they don’t take advantage of it now, they will be in a weaker position later.”
The remarks by Dempsey comes as the Taliban militants in Afghanistan launched their summer offensive earlier this month and the group is intensifying its summer insurgency campaign as Afghanistan is preparing for the second round of election.
However, the US and NATO officials are optimistic that the Afghanistan is getting close to being ready to stand on its own while pointing towards a relatively peaceful first roundof election and other recent events for which Afghan security forces provided security.
Dempsey described the Afghan security forces as emerging as a capable force. “They can defend their centers of population, they can protect their lines of communication,” he said.
He also added that Afghans took part in election despite threats and seven million people chose to ignore the Taliban and that’s a huge statement on the part of the Afghan people to the Taliban.