For Immediate Release


Nathan White (202)225-5871

Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich: Why Wait for Diplomatic Engagement?

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Gates has called the Taliban part of the "political fabric" of Afghanistan. The Financial Times has recently reported that General Stanley McChrystal, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, ‘raised the prospect that his troop surge will lead to a negotiated peace with the Taliban. [1]'

"The realities of life in Afghanistan, including the role of the Taliban, must be acknowledged for us to be effective in working with the Afghan people and for our prompt withdrawal," said Kucinich. "My question to General McChrystal is, ‘Why wait until after the surge to begin diplomatic engagement?'"

"If our top military leaders believe that individuals currently associated with the Taliban may have a role in the future of a stable Afghanistan, why wait to begin engaging them until after a deadly surge? The idea that the Taliban will be more open to negotiations following a ‘troop surge' is short term thinking that will inevitably lead to greater resistance and greater animosity towards America."

[1] Green, Matthew. "McChrystal sees Taliban role." Financial Times 24 Jan. 2010



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