Within the next ten days, Taliban leaders are expected to begin negotiations with the Afghan government over a ceasefire and political settlement. This after the militant group and the United States signed a deal over the weekend in Doha in an effort to end the 18-year war.
Under the agreement, the Taliban will not allow al-Qaeda, ISIL, or any other extremist group to operate in Afghanistan, while the U.S. gradually withdraws its forces. It also calls for a prisoner swap.
But on Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he would not abide by the terms of a release negotiated by the U.S. as a prerequisite for talks. And on Monday, the Taliban announced it would resume offensive operations against Afghan security forces.
The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said some violence is to be expected.
To discuss all of this:
- Omar Samad served as the Afghan Ambassador to France and Canada and is a non-resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council.
- Ahmad Shah Mohibi is the founder and President of Rise to Peace, a non-profit organization.
- Peter Mansoor served in the U.S. Army for 26-years and is the chair of military history at The Ohio State University.
- Shuja Nawaz is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center here in Washington, D.C.
A fragile U.S.-Taliban peace agreement has hit its first snag as Afghanistan's president said he will not free thousands of Taliban prisoners ahead of talks set for next week. https://t.co/U6iEJ7GMKl
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 1, 2020
“We believe that the Afghan people are ready to start their own course forward.”
US officials and Afghanistan’s Taliban representatives signed an agreement aimed at ending the US’ longest war. pic.twitter.com/YyMjPxLgCb
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 1, 2020