For the first time since an American-led coalition toppled the Taliban in 2001, Afghan officials are engaged in formal talks with Taliban leadership. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani confirmed that members of the Afghan High Peace Council sat down for face-to-face negotiations in Islamabad, Pakistan this week. They were joined by deputy foreign minister Hekmat Karzai. The Taliban did not reveal who their negotiators are.
The United States Army has charged Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion and "misbehavior before the enemy." Bergdahl allegedly abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by Taliban-aligned forces for nearly five years before the Obama administration negotiated a deal with the Taliban forces.
Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive in Afghanistan by Taliban-affiliated terrorists for nearly five years, will be charged with desertion. Bergdahl was returned to the United States last year in exchange for five Taliban commanders being held at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Raf Sanchez at the Telegraph reports on Twitter:
BREAKING: Bergdahl's lawyer says he's being charged w/ desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy. Says 'premature' to say how he'll plea
CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that the U.S. military and intelligence community thinks that one member of the so-called Taliban Five “has attempted to return to militant activity from his current location in Qatar.” Officials aren’t saying which one of the five Taliban leaders, who were held at Guantanamo before being transferred to Qatar last year, has fallen under suspicion. But the U.S. has been monitoring their communications and one of the five has “reached out” to other jihadists.
Lost in the excitement over ISIS, the battle for Khobani, and the possible threat to Baghdad is news of the nation’s longest war, the one in Afghanistan, which the President once called a “war of necessity.”
A new ad set to be released later today alleges that Mississippi senator Thad Cochran is in part responsible for the release of 5 Taliban commanders from Gitmo. The ad, titled "Cochran Supported the Release of 5 Terrorists," is being released by the Campaign for American Values, a super PAC run by Gary Bauer.