As Afghan Peace Deal Nears, Rumors of Secret Annexes Loom Large

Deal's durability depends heavily on what else is in it

A peace deal between the US and the Taliban to end the Afghanistan War is scheduled to be signed Saturday, assuming no fights break out before that point. Three days into a seven day “reduction of violence,” things are promising, with only minor incidents alleged. The terms as reported publicly of the final deal are so deceptively simple that one must inevitably question why this deal wasn’t reached long ago.

Indeed, such a deal seems easy, but whether it lasts depends heavily on what else might be in the deal. After all, we know the basic terms, but reports of secret annexes raise questions of if the actual deal will be palatable to everyone involved.

The nature of secret annexes means there is no way of knowing if they even exist, let alone what they say. The rumors are all bad though, the sort of things you’d really want to keep secret, like the US secretly saying they’ll stay in Afghanistan.

The Taliban leadership has insisted a peace deal would be impossible without a full US withdrawal. That’s what the rank and file are expecting too, which is why if true, this would have to be a “secret” that the leaders accepted but don’t want everyone else to know about just yet.

The rumors are that the US agreed to cut troops from 13,000 to 8,600, which was the plan anyhow. The Taliban insists any idea of stopping is just a rumor and that all the rest of the troops will leave too. The Taliban fighters clearly wouldn’t put up with that.

For now there is nothing to do about the rumors, as the annexes either exist or they don’t. If there are no annexes, the deal looks very promising. If there are, it looks very rickety.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.