...use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.Ending the indefinite war is exactly what President Obama promised to do back in May.
My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon...As the President said in that same speech, that involves more than simply pulling our troops out of Afghanistan.
This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.
...we are pursuing a negotiated peace. In coordination with the Afghan government, my Administration has been in direct discussions with the Taliban. We have made it clear that they can be a part of this future if they break with al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws...Those talks stalled a few months ago when the Taliban walked away from the effort. But Reuters is reporting that the Obama administration has made a new offer that is designed to bring them back to the table.
The Obama administration, in a move aimed at reviving Afghan peace talks, has sweetened a proposed deal under which it would transfer Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for a U.S. soldier held by Taliban allies in Pakistan.You can read more details about the offer at the Reuter's link. But the important point is that the Obama administration is still working on this. These kinds of negotiations are very complex and tend to move at a snail's pace.
The revised proposal, a concession from an earlier U.S. offer, would alter the sequence of the move of five senior Taliban figures held for years at the U.S. military prison to the Gulf state of Qatar, sources familiar with the issue said.
U.S. officials have hoped the prisoner exchange, proposed as a good-faith move in initial discussions between U.S. negotiators and Taliban officials, would open the door to peace talks between militants and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Of course the Taliban publicly blamed their walk-out on the U.S. But its much more likely that it had more to do with divisions in their own ranks.
In early 2012, Western officials say, the Taliban's reclusive leaders struggled to contain a backlash from mid-level militants who opposed talking to the West...This new offer from the U.S probably demonstrates that signals have been sent that its time to start moving ahead. That's good news...even at a snail's pace.
Even so, analysts say there are signs that the Taliban leadership, based in Pakistan, may now be more open to a negotiated settlement, and these have included the appearance of a senior Taliban figure at a recent conference in Japan.