Peace In Afghanistan Is Drawing Nearer, As The Peace Talks In Qatar Close In On A Deal
PICTURED: Suhail Shaheen, the deputy Taliban envoy and part of the negotiating team in Doha. Photo: Ariananews.
Doha, Qatar, August 28th, 2019. Representatives of the Taliban and the United States are drawing nearer to finalizing a peace agreement during the 9th round of such negotiations.
The agreement would end the longest war in American history, and former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is reportedly coming close to putting pen to paper.
Speaking with Al Jazeera, Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban media spokesperson said that on the 7th day of the 9th round of peace talks the two sides were coming ‘close’ to finishing the final details of the agreement.
"The talks continue today [Wednesday] and we have reached the last point of the agreement," Shaheen told Al Jazeera.
"The final point is the implementation and the mechanism of the deal which is being discussed," he said.
End User Agreement
One of the dangers cited by proponents of the Afghan war for years is what some experts have called the “Safe Haven Myth” and others have called a legitimate threat, especially after the rise of the Islamic State following the War in Iraq and the Start of the Syrian Civil War.
Writing for Antiwar.com and other publications, Maj. Danny Sjursen explains the situation thusly.
“if the US doesn’t maintain a troop presence and prop up the Kabul government forever, then Al Qaeda, ISIS, and whoever else will use Afghanistan as a base to attack this American homeland.”
For many years the concept of safe haven has been used to convince senators, congressmen, generals, and presidents to keep a troop presence in Afghanistan indefinitely.
Whether or not the safe haven invocation ever had any bearing on reality, the Taliban as part of the new agreements have pledged not to let any stateless terror actors such as the IS or al-Qaeda take root in the country.
The Taliban meanwhile demand a complete and total withdrawal of all foreign forces before they do anything of the sort. The talks so far have been punctuated by a resoluteness that the Kabul unity government is nothing but an American-installed puppet and has no legitimacy whatsoever.
It’s expected that Taliban-Kabul talks would commence following the departure of American military forces, but it’s hard to predict whether they will result in any meaningful power sharing agreement or an explosion of violence.
Without the aid of the United States and her NATO allies, winning such a conflict would prove difficult for Kabul for several reasons. The first is that Kabul is the seat of what was once the most corrupt government on the planet during the hotter years of the war, and what still ranks according to Transparency International year after year as a deeply corrupt state, as bad as North Korea, Syria, or Yemen.
Secondly, the Taliban control or contest 45% of the country. They were the most significant power structure before the United States invaded, and there’s been a sense since the early days of the war that while the Afghan people don’t want to see the Taliban back in power, there’s a much more visceral hatred of the Kabul government.
Meanwhile, the casualties on all sides are ramping up as the year drags one, greater numbers than in 2018 have been recorded in every single month with the higher share of civilian deaths attributed to NATO countries, especially those conducted air strikes.