Afghan Taliban Reiterate Support for Doha Peace Deal With US

Baradar: Commitment to start intra-Afghan talks

With rumors of a Russian bounty program the latest thing to threaten the Afghan peace process, the Taliban came forward on Tuesday to reiterate their support for the Doha peace deal that they signed with the United States, and deny any knowledge of the bounty scheme.

The bounty deal would have had Russia paying Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers. If true, that would be a big deal, though even the Pentagon conceded that they never found corroborating evidence for it. The Russian and Taliban denied it, and even superficially the narrative would have some holes.

Likely the only reason this has retained any interest is that it is Russia, and allegations against Russia are endorsed even without good evidence. The Afghan government has also been trying to pooh-pooh the peace process, and this might be another chance to push the US to rethink the deal.

Yet all evidence points to the peace process going very well. The US pullout is ahead of schedule, and Trump has announced a pullout of more troops by the fall. The prisoner releases are going well, and the Taliban is again ready to start intra-Afghan talks.

Everything is going right, and the shaky Russia allegation is a flimsy excuse to reverse course. So far, there is no sign that is going to happen, and intra-Afghan talks are going to be coming soon.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.