Taliban Vows To Force NATO To Leave Afghanistan

The Taliban is vowing to force NATO troops to leave Afghanistan before 2014, the Western military alliance's target date for handing off security to Afghan government forces.

The 28-nation alliance agreed Saturday to begin giving the Afghan government control over security in some regions as early as next year, with plans for a full handover by the end of 2014. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that some soldiers with the International Security Assistance Force will remain in Afghanistan past 2014, both in combat and training roles. But Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid emailed a message to reporters on Sunday, in which he said the Taliban ""will not remain silent even for a single night until and unless the goal of complete freedom and the formation of an independent government is achieved. They will not wait for the time of implementation of a given decision or timetable of withdrawal."" In his email, Mujahid did not address offers from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to engage in peace talks, which have been repeatedly rebuffed by hard-line Taliban. Karzai recently formed a 70-member High Peace Council in an attempt to broker a political solution to the ongoing insurgency. However, the Taliban have vowed to kill any member or follower who negotiates with government officials. Mujahid predicted that NATO will fail to establish a stable government in Afghanistan by 2014 and said the Taliban have devised their own government policy framework should they successfully take control of the country. ""In the past nine years, the invaders could not establish any system of governance in Kabul and they will never be able to do so in future,"" Mujahid said, adding that until 2014 ""various untoward and tragic events and battles will take place as a result of this meaningless, imposed and unwinnable war."" "