Officials Upbeat After Most Productive US-Taliban Talks So Far

Taliban interested in talking power-sharing deal with Afghan govt

Those familiar with this weekend’s peace talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha are praising the situation, calling the end of the war “more likely than ever,” after the most productive talks yet.

These sides have made productive talks several times this year, and these are said to be the most substantive yet, with a deal approaching agreement on two key points, the withdrawal of foreign troops and the Taliban’s commitment to keep ISIS and al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan.

Those two aspects of the deal have been a foregone conclusion for awhile. The Taliban is also inspiring confidence as they talk about power-sharing with the existing US-backed Afghan government, saying they don’t insist on a monopoly on power, but they want to have some of the power.

The Afghan government has long been reluctant to talk power-sharing with the Taliban, fearing that without US military support they’re going to have to give up substantial control over the country, in that they can’t enforce their own rule without US and NATO forces having their back.

Decades of failing to build a functioning Afghan government have a lot of NATO nations ambivalent about exactly where the power-sharing deal ends up. The Taliban’s pledge to support anti-terror operations is seen as particularly vital, since 19 years in, Afghan government forces show no ability to defeat any of those groups.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.