U.S. Abandons Taliban-Afghan Peace

    Soldiers on a joint patrol comprising officers from the 1st Platoon, 1-64 Armored Batallion of the US Army, operating under NATO command, and Afghan National Army (ANA), are silhouetted in the headlights of armored personnel carriers (APC) near the Morghan-Khecha village in Daman district, Kandahar province, on September 8, 2012.  Afghanistan's first vice president on September 8 warned deteriorating security could jeopardize transparent elections in 2014 as Kabul prepares to take over from NATO troops.  President Hamid Karzai, who has been the only elected head of state in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban, is due to stand down in 2014. His re-election in 2009 was accompanied by widespread fraud and the international community sees the next vote as one of the last major hurdles before NATO combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA        (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/GettyImages)

    Tony Karumba, AFP / Getty Images

    "Abandon" is such a harsh word. But after a troop surge in Afghanistan—and a failure to weaken the Taliban—U.S. officials are no longer aiming for a peace deal with the Taliban. Instead, senior coalition officers tell The New York Times that the military is now satisfied with letting Afghan officials hash out an agreement after coalition forces withdraw. The failure to strike a meaningful relationship with the Taliban brings into question the "gains" Obama reported when announcing the troop surge in 2009.

    Read it at The New York Times