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May 4, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8732

Afghan Taliban React To U.S. Forces Commander Lt.-Gen. Miller: We 'Will Never Agree To An Irrational Call For A Ceasefire Or Decrease In Operations'

May 4, 2020
Afghanistan | Special Dispatch No. 8732

The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On April 28, 2020, Lt.-Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, warned the Taliban against continuing their attacks on Afghan security forces. "If the Taliban continues attacks then what they should expect is a response," Miller said, adding: "We need them to reduce the violence and... that reduction gives our political leadership on all sides an opportunity to determine the peaceful way forward."[1]


Lt.-Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. forces

Gen. Miller's statement came amid increasing Taliban attacks on Afghan security forces throughout April. It reflects how Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, i.e., the Taliban organization, which signed a peace agreement with the U.S. in Doha on February 29, has not ceased or reduced its attacks on Afghan security forces, perhaps as policy of undermining the Afghan government and hoping to dislodge it.[2]

After the U.S.-Taliban agreement was signed in Doha, there was an expectation that it would usher in an era of peace in Afghanistan. However, the Taliban not only continued their attacks on the Afghan security forces, but also raised the stakes. Within days of the signing ceremony in Doha, the Doha agreement began to fall apart.[3]

Gen. Miller's remarks show that the Taliban have continued their previous tactics. Reacting to him, the Taliban issued a statement saying that Gen. Miller's statement would add "fuel to the fire." Given below is the text of the Taliban statement:[4]

"Such Statements For Any Purpose Are Not Intended To Bring Afghan Conflict Closer To A Solution, But It Can Have An Adverse Effect Of Adding Fuel To The Fire"

"The U.S. and NATO Forces Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, told reporters alongside one of his puppet commanders, Asadullah Khalid that: Taliban have stepped up their attacks and if they continue, we will respond. There is no doubt that it might be compulsion of American generals to give false confidence to their morale-lacking internal [Afghan] allies. But it is also true that such statements for any purpose are not intended to bring Afghan conflict closer to a solution, but it can have an adverse effect of adding fuel to the fire.

"General Miller should have conveyed his warning to those who continue trying to sabotage the historical [sic] agreement signed by Scott Miller's leaders. The target of his warnings should be those for whom you have sacrificed thousands of troops and poured trillions of dollars, but they have squandered everything.

"Scott Miller was supposed to threaten his puppet colleagues — who although had served as the frontrunners for the American occupation — for failing at implementing the American war strategy due to their incompetence, corruption, barbarity and cruelty and are now delaying and disrupting your peace strategy and the globally accepted [i.e. the U.S.-Taliban] agreement to ultimately bring you disrepute and defeat."

"The American General Should Not Obstruct The Implementation Of The Successful [U.S.-Taliban] Agreement... For His Failed Puppets [i.e. Afghan Security Forces]"

"The American general should not obstruct the implementation of the successful agreement with the Islamic Emirate for his failed puppets [i.e., Afghan security forces]. We know that your repeated violations of the Doha Agreement, constant bombardments, operations and rocket attacks and non-release of prisoners, have earned you nothing but introduce you as violators of the peace agreement like the Kabul administration.

"Instead of issuing warnings, if you would have made a serious effort today to implement the Doha Agreement by releasing 5,000 prisoners from Kabul jails, you would have prevented any damage to your status and credibility and paved the way for intra-Afghan talks thus you could have departed in a way that would have earned you a relatively good reputation instead of defamation.

"Using the threatening language of war in a peaceful atmosphere will benefit you not. The mujahideen have tried to avoid the blame of the international community but they are not afraid of any warnings; otherwise they would not have sacrificed for 19 years and would have shunned their struggle at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Pul-e-Charkhi.

"The Islamic Emirate will never agree to an irrational call for a ceasefire or decrease in operations. Everything is legibly written in the Doha Agreement. If you had tried to abide by it, it was very likely that the two months war would have stopped earlier but instead of finding a feasible solution to the conflict, at the request of the Kabul administration or by giving them false morale, you are relying on warnings which is a failed experiment and the repetition of failed experiments is itself a failure."

 

[1] ToloNews.com (Afghanistan), April 28, 2020.

[3] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1503 Just Days Old, The U.S.-Taliban Agreement On Afghanistan Threatens To Blow Up, March 4, 2020.

[4] AlemarahEnglish.com (Afghanistan), May 1, 2020.

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