Taliban to Resume Attacks on Afghan Govt, US Will Stick With Deal

Taliban: Prisoners must be released before talks with govt

A partial truce in Afghanistan was ended on Monday, when the Taliban ordered a resumption of fighting against the Afghan government. This appears to be driven by the Afghan government refusing to release as prisoners promised under the peace deal.

A Taliban statement confirmed that they will not attack foreign forces at all, but are prepared to fight the Kabul-based government. There also appears to be no timetable for direct talks at this point.

The plan was for the prisoner exchange to facilitate intra-Afghan talks. Taliban officials now say they will flat out refuse any direct talks with the Afghan government until the prisoners are released.

Whether that will happen is anyone’s guess, as the Ghani government objected to the US promising the release, saying they lacked authority to do so.

Either way, the US appears to be standing behind the terms of the deal, and are going to stick to what was agreed to. There will likely be pressure for the US to “save” the Ghani government in this renewed fighting, but since the government is openly defying the pact, the US probably isn’t eager to back them up just now.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.