Taliban want end to US 'colonial sway'
Tue Dec 14, 2010
Taliban say the death of the US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, should prompt the withdrawal of foreign troops from the troubled region.
The militant group said the Americans should give up the idea of colonial rule in Afghanistan.
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on the American powers that be to abandon their dream of military domination and colonial sway in Afghanistan," AFP quoted a Taliban spokesman as saying.
Holbrooke passed away after undergoing surgery in Washington on Monday. The 69-year-old veteran diplomat, who felt ill at a State Department meeting on Friday, was later operated to repair an aortic tear.
Holbrooke joined President Barack Obama's administration as special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2009. His diplomatic career spanned over nearly five decades.
The militant group also noted that Obama's new strategy on the Afghan war is doomed to failure, saying, "Their formulation of new military strategies will never change the imminent defeat into a victory for the country."
The comments came days before an expected US review of the war in Afghanistan.
In 2001, the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan to wipe out terrorism. However, the US-led occupation of the country has now turned into a long war of attrition.
At least 693 foreign troops have so far been killed in Afghanistan in 2010, marking this year the deadliest for NATO since the US-led invasion.
About 150,000 NATO troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan with plans to stay in the country beyond 2014. This is while NATO has admitted that the militants have increased their power in Afghanistan in the past nine years.
Obama had pledged a major drawdown from Afghanistan by July 2011. Experts have described the new transition date of 2014 as a devastating truth for Americans.
The increase in the casualties of the US-led foreign forces has raised opposition to the Afghan war in countries which have contributed troops to the mission.
The United Nations recently announced that Afghan civilian deaths soared by over 30 percent in 2010, compared to the same period last year.
The Pentagon has admitted in a recent report that the US has failed to establish security in Afghanistan.
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