US, Taliban Make Headway in Talks on Ending Afghan War

Taliban agrees to bar ISIS, al-Qaeda from Afghanistan

Ongoing negotiations between the Taliban and a US negotiating team have been making substantial progress on key points central to ending the Afghan War. Central to this is a US promise to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, and the Taliban promising not to allow Afghanistan to host either ISIS or al-Qaeda forces after the war.

The talks seem to be picking up pace with the latest round in Doha, and reports that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, recently released by the Pakistani government, will be taking over direct control of negotiations on the Taliban side of things.

The US government has long made the case that they had to stay in Afghanistan to ensure that it didn’t become a haven for international terror groups. The Taliban’s assurance would go a long way toward guaranteeing that doesn’t happen, and indeed the Taliban has had more success fighting the local ISIS affiliate than anyone else.

From the Taliban perspective, the key is to ensure that the US is actually leaving after 17+ years of occupation. Recent talks took a hit when the US started broaching the subject of keeping “long-term bases” in Afghanistan after the war. The Taliban was so mad at this suggestion they threatened to break off talks outright.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.