Report Casts Doubt on Taliban’s Ties With Al Qaeda

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N.Y.U. Report Casts Doubt on Taliban’s Ties With Al Qaeda

By CARLOTTA GALL

Published: February 6, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan Taliban have been wrongly perceived as close ideological allies of Al Qaeda, and they could be persuaded to renounce the global terrorist group, according to a report to be published Monday by New York University.

The report goes on to say that there was substantial friction between the groups’ leaders before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and that hostility has only intensified.

The authors, Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, have worked in Afghanistan for years and edited the autobiography of a Taliban diplomat, many of whose ideas are reflected in the report. The authors are among a small group of experts who say the only way to end the war in Afghanistan is to begin peace overtures to the Taliban.

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Phi Beta Iota: History is important not only to understanding others, but when used retrospectively to examine one’s own actions, assumptions, beliefs, and motivations, most helpful in refining the art and science of intelligence (decision making) and public policy making (a mix of politics and professionalism that too often loses its integrity for lack of public intelligence).