Washington – US President Barack Obama’s first task after being anointed on Friday as this year’s greatest peacemaker will be to decide how to wage war in Afghanistan.
Obama sensationally won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months into his presidency, with the jury hailing his “extraordinary” diplomatic efforts on the international stage.
Now he faces the monumental decision over how to proceed in an unpopular and deepening war in which hundreds of American lives have been lost this year, and whether or not to commit even more troops to Afghanistan.
And reaction from Afghanistan. First up, President Karzai:
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai immediately congratulated Obama on Friday, saying he was the “appropriate” person to win the peace prize.
“His hard work and his new vision on global relations, his will and efforts for creating friendly and good relations at global level and global peace make him the appropriate recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize,” Karzai spokesperson Siamak Hirai told AFP.
But the Taliban (not sure if these Taliban are the moderate Taliban we’re going to negotiate with or if this is one of the other, meaner Taliban):
The country’s Taliban insurgents however condemned the award to Obama as “unjust”, saying the president had “not taken a single step towards peace in Afghanistan”.
“We have seen no change in his strategy for peace,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Islamic fundamentalist militants.
“He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan,” Mujahid told AFP. “He has not taken a single step for peace in Afghanistan or to make this country stable.”