US Warns Afghan Violence Too High, But Officials Trade Blame Over Whose Fault It Is

Ghani reiterates support for ceasefire in UN speech

US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad expressed pessimism about the ongoing intra-Afghan talks, saying violence in Afghanistan remains too high, and the two sides remain far apart on even basic issues. He also warned US education could end for Afghan women.

Violence has been on the upswing, at least a bit, in Afghanistan. This is not simple to resolve, however, because the Afghan government and Taliban are both blaming the other side for this, and with recent Afghan airstrikes killing dozens of civilians, it’s hard to take their word for it that everything is the Taliban’s fault.

The pushes for a mutually acceptable ceasefire would be key for solving a lot of this, and President Ghani reiterated his desire for a ceasefire at the UN General Assembly. The exact terms are still not clear, but both sides seem to be pushing ceasefires that they view as more beneficial to them.

That’s a lot riding on these talks, with everyone angling for a base structure that they believe will lead them to a satisfactory end. In the meantime, any ceasefire of even modest success would seemingly benefit both sides for the talks, and benefit the Afghan public even more.

Some in the Afghan government seem to be hoping they can keep the US in the war by selling the Taliban as totally intractable and unwilling to consider a deal. To that end, some are trying to push this narrative by making the offers harder for the Taliban to accept.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.