DOHA, Qatar — U.S. representatives in continuing talks with the Taliban are confident of finally achieving the illusion of victory in Afghanistan, sources say.
Top American negotiator Charles “Charlie” Brown has told the State Department that the US is offering significant troop withdrawals in exchange for a Taliban agreement to cease supporting transnational terrorism. Although experts note that the Taliban has a perfect record of tanking previous such accords, "We’re not about to let facts and history influence these negotiations” Brown is reported to have said.
According to attendees at the talks, Taliban lead negotiator Lucy al-Vanpelt gave Brown a seemingly heartfelt promise to honor the agreement, the latest in a series of commitments.
“I think it’s the sincerest promise yet,” said Brown, “Lucy’s also the center-fielder on our Kabul softball team and she always gives me good pitching advice, so I know she’s legit.”
Doug Schroeder, and analyst in Washington, acknowledged that the Taliban is reliably unreliable in keeping its peace promises.
“Beginning with cease fire violations with the Soviets in the 1980s, they’ve been amazingly good at duplicity and untrustworthiness with every American administration and the Afghan government since 2001, even after receiving concessions,” Shroeder said. “That’s just at the national level. We'd need a data scientist to crunch the numbers on locally broken promises.”
The only time the Taliban honored a cease-fire was once in 2010, when the group called a two-hour halt in fighting at a town in Herat Province so they could watch the season finale of “The Bachelorette,” according to Brown’s records. “A lot of Taliban are still angry about the outcome,” he said.
Regardless of history, US representatives remain hopeful. Brown said, “to use a football analogy, we’re ready to kick a field goal for the final points to win the game. I think Lucy really means it this time. This year I’m going to kick that football right over the goal posts!”
As Brown prepares for final negotiations, several American negotiators have reportedly scheduled sessions with Lucy for psychiatric help, a service she offers for five cents.