Taliban suspends peace talks with US: Karzai wants US troops confined to base

Things are beginning to unravel in Afghanistan. President Obama wants to maintain his withdrawal schedule while speeding up the handover of sercurity to the Afghan army and police. But will events overtake those plans? Washington Post: President Hamid Karzai demanded Thursday that the United States pull back from combat outposts and confine its troops to military bases in Afghanistan, an apparent response to Sunday's shooting rampage by a U.S. staff sergeant. Meanwhile, the Taliban said it was suspending preliminary peace talks with the United States because of Washington's "alternating and ever-changing position," and accused U.S. officials of reneging on promises to take meaningful steps toward a prisoner swap. The announcements followed a meeting between Karzai and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in Kabul, after which U.S. officials said the two sides had made progress discussing the contentious issue of nighttime raids - but did not mention any discussion of a...(Read Full Post)