Foreign Policy Oops: 'Taliban' Leader in High-Level Talks is a Fake

Remember those high-level ceasefire talks in Afghanistan with Taliban officials that were heading in such a promising direction? Well it turns out that the guy we thought we were making so much headway with is a complete impostor.  

The New York Times came out with the discouraging news this morning.

For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.

But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.

It's not a pretty picture particularly since we bribed the fake Mansour with quite a bit of money. But it's also quite dire news for President Karzai, who has been trying to boost his regime with a peace negotiation that are successful, and probably not fake. The fact that the non-Mansour was sent to the presidential palace to meet Karzai probably looks pretty bad.

Read the full story at the Times.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 23, 2010, 3:36am

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