Conflict Alerts # 26, 19 February 2020
In the news
During 14-16 February, in the sidelines of Munich Security Conference, the US had announced a tentative peace deal with Taliban leading to the “reduction of violence” for seven days at the end of this month. There have been statements from the Taliban leaders as well about the same.
Issues at large
The US and Taliban have been engaged in a dialogue over the last few years with mixed results. During 2019, both were at the brink of a similar deal but fizzled at the last minute. Trump blamed the Taliban for the death of an American, several Afghans and a NATO soldier leading, and abruptly stopped the dialogue process.
Despite the dialogue between the two, the Taliban never stopped from conducting operations and targeting the American and Afghan troops. 2018-19 was one of the most violent phases inside Afghanistan since 2001.
After several failed attempts of negotiations between both sides, this prospective “Reduction of violence” deal is expected to witness the withdrawal of the NATO forces from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban abstaining from launching attacks. It is also expected that the deal would lead to promoting negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
This deal is a good move in establishing peace in Afghanistan, but the deal’s aftermath of satisfying both the government and the Taliban’s interest remains uncertain and ambiguous.
Nevertheless, will this lead to peace within Afghanistan? With a big difference between Abdullah and Ghani over the election results, there is already a political instability in Kabul. The US will now have to negotiate between the above two as well. Facing the elections, how much patience would Trump have?