Esper: US-Taliban Peace Deal May Be Imminent

US, Taliban Reach Deal on 7-Day Violence Reduction in Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he believes a peace deal with the Taliban is even closer on Thursday, confirming a tentative deal for a 7-day reduction in violence across Afghanistan. The violence reduction was the latest of President Trump’s demands.

Trump has been holding off talks in recent weeks, seeking to add new demands as conditions for new talks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo now says Trump has given US negotiators authority to have conversations with the Taliban.

How far they are from a peace deal isn’t clear anymore, though since a deal was virtually finalized last year, it seems it could be revived and finished in very short order, if everyone is on board.

It’s likely that this will depend on the reduction in violence taking hold, but at least point it seems like the US almost has to deliver on a peace deal assuming that works, because the Taliban has agreed to extra measures since the last time the US froze the talks, and there is probably a limit on how much more can be squeezed out of them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.