US Lacks Leverage on Salvaging Afghan Peace Talks

Administration wants Kabul to double-down on peace effort

The peace process in Afghanistan is going more or less fine, if one only gauges the US and Taliban. The Afghan government is not just a problem, but potentially several, with a newly announced offensive and continued delays on prisoner releases.

The US is pushing the Afghan government to double-down on its efforts, but officials say they don’t have a lot of leverage to ensure that they actually do so, and that there is little interest in the Ghani government to make them happy.

The Ghani government, indeed, seems averse to the US peace deal, complaining they’d never agreed to the prisoner release and more recently complaining that the US blamed ISIS for an attack when they were blaming the Taliban.

From the US perspective, this may not matter so much in the long run, as the US pullout is on pace, and once it is finished the Ghani government really becomes someone else’s problem. The US is trying to present themselves as working with everyone, but the pullout tells the story that the US wants out, and that’s the top priority.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of