Scott Miller, the commander of all US and NATO forces, committed a strategic mistake from the military point of view when he confessed that neither side would win the Afghan war. The statement, which by the way is correct, will, however, prove instrumental in lowering down the morale of the invading troops which is already low for the security situation in Kabul is highly uncertain. Maybe, he made these comments only after deliberating upon the pros and cons of such a statement. The statement of the top US commander can encourage Taliban further in adopting more offensive guerrilla tactics against the Kabul government. Moreover, the Taliban, after the confession of Mr Miller, will become more assertive asking for more share and more say in any future government post-US withdrawal.

Nevertheless, what good can come out of the statement made by the top US commander at such a critical moment? The only positive coming out of Mr Miller’s announcement is the fact that both political and military leadership of the US has now realised the futility of the war. Both leaderships recognising the fact that war is unwinnable will, probably, expedite the process of negotiations with the Taliban to find out a peace formula for the war-torn country.

While the US commander stressed upon the need for a political settlement, many defence and security analysts have raised scepticism over the success of the peace talks despite Zalmay Khalilzad’s hope for more rounds of negotiations. If the Taliban pulls out of the peace talks, proving the sceptics right, then, boosting up the morale of the US troops to fight an unwinnable war will be an uphill task. We know well that many battles in history had been won or lost due to the psychological games that the warring factions play against one another. In case the peace talks fall apart, the statement of Mr Miller will be, then, a self-inflicted injury.