Afghan Talks in Doha Limp Along, Awaiting Biden

Neither sides wants to commit to anything before January 20

Round two of the intra-Afghan talks launched in Doha over the weekend, and no progress is being made. That’s not surprising anyone, as they say expectations are practically zero for this week.

Many negotiators reportedly haven’t even shown up in Doha yet, and that’s apparently because neither side wants to commit to anything before the January 20 inauguration of Joe Biden, and certainty on whether he’s committed to the US pullout.

Those familiar with the situation say both sides were under pressure to resume talks when they did, but that there is a strong sense that they don’t want to announce any new deals right now. The Taliban in particular say they want assurances Biden will respect the deal they reach.

Taliban spokesmen are denying the suggestion that the talks are in any way stalled, insisting that contact is ongoing. They did not, however, dispute the idea that no deals are likely to be made in the next few days.

Biden has at times suggested discomfort with the Trump policy in Afghanistan, but hasn’t said anything about definitively pulling away from the peace process.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.