'Smart Power' in Afghanistan

Do we have a competent foreign-policy team or what? It turns out that the "secret" negotiations we have been conducting with the Taliban did not include the Taliban!

But don't worry: "American officials say they were skeptical from the start about the identity of the man who claimed to be Mullah Mansour." Yeah, we knew all along, and we still ushered him into the presence of Hamid Karzai himself and showered money on him. A "Western diplomat said the Afghan man was initially given a sizable sum of money to take part in the talks - and to help persuade him to return."

Even after the scales fell from our eyes, did we at least ask for the money back? Not a chance. Instead, we groveled:

Neither American nor Afghan leaders confronted the fake Mullah Mansour with their doubts. Indeed, some Afghan leaders are still holding out hopes that the man really is or at least represents Mr. Mansour - and that he will come back soon."

Please, oh please talk to us, Mr. Whoever-You-Are, please? Talk about bargaining from a position of strength. Wouldn't want to harsh Mr. Faux-Mansour's mellow.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d@gmail.com.

Do we have a competent foreign-policy team or what? It turns out that the "secret" negotiations we have been conducting with the Taliban did not include the Taliban!

But don't worry: "American officials say they were skeptical from the start about the identity of the man who claimed to be Mullah Mansour." Yeah, we knew all along, and we still ushered him into the presence of Hamid Karzai himself and showered money on him. A "Western diplomat said the Afghan man was initially given a sizable sum of money to take part in the talks - and to help persuade him to return."

Even after the scales fell from our eyes, did we at least ask for the money back? Not a chance. Instead, we groveled:

Neither American nor Afghan leaders confronted the fake Mullah Mansour with their doubts. Indeed, some Afghan leaders are still holding out hopes that the man really is or at least represents Mr. Mansour - and that he will come back soon."

Please, oh please talk to us, Mr. Whoever-You-Are, please? Talk about bargaining from a position of strength. Wouldn't want to harsh Mr. Faux-Mansour's mellow.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d@gmail.com.

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