Imposter 'negotiated' for Taliban
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 repeated 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.That is quite a scam and it happened because of the rush to cut a deal before the enemy was defeated. Hopefully we have learned from this and will take the Taliban at their word that they are not interested in peace. These guys need to be destroyed. They need to be reduced to the point they are no longer a threat. We have the capacity to do it and we should not be distracted in accomplishing that objective.
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 him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”