Will the death of Osama bin Laden influence the situation in Afghanistan?

Hillary Clinton have suggested that after the death of Osama bin Laden there there is a chance Taliban will more likely be willing to negotiate.

Question:

Do you agree with her or not, and why?

Answers:

Alia Brahimi, Research Fellow, LSE Global Governance, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

I agree with Clinton’s suggestion that the killing of bin Laden demonstrates US resolve and efficacy- that the Taliban can’t ‘wait us out’ after all.  This will provide some leverage in trying to get the Taliban to the table.  But it’s worth noting that there’s also a lot of talk right now about how the death of bin Laden provides the US with an opportunity to disengage from Afghanistan, which sends a signal to the Taliban that the US is looking for a pretext to cut and run soon.  It’s also worth remembering that, while some al-Qaeda elements are still at work in Afghanistan, the Taliban is an entirely different organisation, movement and phenomenon.  Some of the rhetoric which has been emerging from the White House is still confusing the two, which is not going to help in finding a solution to the Afghan insurgency.

Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Researcher, The Global Security research programme, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Sure, Osama Bin Laden’s death may make some factions of the various groups fighting in A’stan more interested in negotiating; especially those that prioritize their own interests over ideology. However, othes may simply become more motivated. Overall, if real negotiations get started it’ll be for a host of reasons, such as how Isaf and Ansf do this summer, whether parts of ISI provides ‘protection’ to quetta shura etc etc.

Harsh V. Pant, Reader in International Relations, Department of Defence Studies, King’s College London

I agree that the tide has turned in favour of the US in Afghanistan and Taliban will take this into account….but more important is the Pakistani perspective…..if taliban and their Pakistani supporters feel that the US wants to get out at any cost, then they too have every incentive to wait it out…..lets not forget just a few days back, Pakistani army cheif was telling Karzai govt that it should align with Pakistan as the US will leave sooner than later….that continues to be the larger narrative….and if the death of bin Laden makes this perception that the work of the US is now done and it can go home, then negotiations will only be perfunctory……that’s the real challenge for the Obama administration…..


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