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      Rashid: Pentagon Night Raids an Obstacle to Obama Peace Strategy

      The eminent journalist Ahmed Rashid, who originally supported the U.S. war in Afghanistan, is now calling for the U.S. to end its “lethal night raids” as a step towards accelerated dialogue with the Taliban.

      Writing in The Financial Times, Rashid says that “The Pentagon, which has been at odds with President Barack Obama over the troop withdrawal, is not fully supportive of the current round of talks.” If the raids are not stopped, there is no chance that the Taliban will cease its successful campaign of assassinating top officials of the Kabul government, which is unleashing panic in Afghanistan’s highest circles. Rashid notes, “there is a risk that further assassinations could lead to a complete collapse of leadership in the frail Afghan government bureaucracy and police.”

      A military, political and diplomatic debacle in Afghanistan may stop the present U.S. troop withdrawals and benefit the Pentagon, military contractors and Republicans who oppose the Obama policy.

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