officials initiated a series of desultory peace talks that

A Dubai shopping trip and a missed chance to capture the head of the Taliban

drone strike on May 22, 2016, in Noshki in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. (Barkat Tareen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

cheap moncler In the spring of cheap moncler 2016 senior officials at the White House learned that the head of cheap moncler sale the Taliban had turned up in Dubai for a few days of shopping and fundraising. cheap moncler

moncler sale outlet The appearance of Akhtar Mohammad Mansour roaming freely in the commercial capital of the Middle East presented an opportunity to capture a major adversary, but one complicated by political and diplomatic risks. and Afghan governments the only three party talks in the history of the United States’ longest war. The Taliban leader’s decision to give the go ahead for those discussions weighed heavily on some Obama administration officials as they pondered how to proceed in Dubai. drone. moncler sale outlet

moncler outlet jackets How and why the United moncler sale States came to kill a man that some officials believed could bring the Taliban to the negotiating table reveals unresolved questions that have plagued the war from its earlier days and continue to divide President Trump and his top foreign policy advisers: When is a senior Taliban leader a target? When is he a possible negotiating partner? And how will this war, now in its 17th year, end? moncler outlet jackets

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moncler outlet Since the war’s earliest days, American efforts moncler outlet sale to talk to top Taliban leaders have been marred by ambivalence, miscommunication and missteps. moncler outlet

moncler factory outlet In Washington, then Defense Secretary Donald H. prison buy moncler jackets at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. officials initiated a series of desultory peace talks that petered out in 2012. Negotiations had largely stopped until early 2016, about seven cheap moncler outlet months after Mansour was publicly named to lead the Taliban. moncler factory outlet

moncler outlet online Mansour’s predecessor, Mohammad Omar, had cheap moncler jackets been the group’s founder, commander and spiritual leader. Omar rarely left southern Afghanistan or met with outsiders during the Taliban’s years in power and was nearly invisible as an insurgent leader. An ascetic, one eyed moncler outlet cleric and inspirational force, Omar had been dead for nearly two years when in 2015 the Taliban finally acknowledged his passing. moncler outlet online

moncler jacket sale A file photo shows Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. moncler jacket sale

cheap moncler coats A biography on a Taliban website said he was born in 1968 and included a photograph of him in Germany in Cheap Moncler the 1990s, where he had traveled to buy equipment for the Afghan airline company. In the picture, Mansour is heavy set with a thick black beard and turban. official involved in Afghanistan policy. and Afghan officials in February 2016. All sides promised that moncler sale outlet they would deny the meetings if they became public. officials as they prepared for the secret talks was whether the monlcer down jackets Taliban had changed during its years of exile and insurgency. diplomat. These officials pointed to waves of indiscriminate suicide bombings many of which had been approved by Mansour that claimed thousands of Afghan lives. cheap moncler coats

cheap moncler jackets An opposing view held that exposure to the outside world had moderated the views of the Taliban’s senior leaders. In meetings with foreign delegations, Taliban officials admitted they had made errors when they were in power, voiced support for the education of girls and insisted that they did not want to be international pariahs. officials received a glimpse of what some of the Taliban had become when they greeted the Taliban and Afghan teams in Qatar the site of the February 2016 talks. cheap moncler jackets

moncler sale The Americans by happenstance sent an all female delegation, which some officials in Washington worried might upset moncler outlet store the Taliban. But the Taliban representatives did not seem to care. delegation a small lapis vase, according to officials briefed on the negotiations. When the Americans remarked that the Taliban did not have a gift for their Afghan government guests, a Taliban official was quickly dispatched to rectify the oversight. moncler sale

cheap moncler outlet He dashed out to a nearby Sephora cosmetics store and moncler mens jackets returned with a small bag of men’s cologne. cheap moncler outlet

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For much of the war, the United States has tried to use military force to batter the Taliban into taking part in peace talks. But by early 2016, that strategy seemed spent. forces in Afghanistan had been reduced from 100,000 to fewer than 10,000 cheap moncler coats troops.

moncler outlet sale A small group at the State Department and the White House, with a focus on the peace process, began debating unconventional approaches to accelerating talks. officials knew that Mansour and a handful of other senior Taliban leaders made regular trips to Dubai and speculated that the United States could turn the trips to its advantage. They suggested that Mansour could be used as a bargaining chip to wrest concessions from the Taliban and its patrons. officials advocated a riskier course: They wanted to grab him, secretly press him to take part in peace negotiations and possibly then let him go. moncler outlet sale

moncler jackets outlet Some of the initial White House discussions revolved around the mechanics of asking the federal government of the UAE to grab Mansour without tipping off local Dubai officials who might allow him to escape. Those talks were still going on when they were upended by new intelligence: Mansour was leaving Dubai sooner than expected moncler jackets outlet.