Using U.S. leverage to craft an Afghan settlement demands incredible deftness in both Washington and Kabul. More, certainly, than either administration has yet displayed.
A discussion of the four key elements of U.S. negotiations with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s domestic politics, and the challenges to achieving a sustainable peace.
India must recognize that any response to the attack at Pulwama can at best mitigate—not eliminate—Pakistani terrorism. But India can do much more to equip and protect its security forces.
Important details need to be worked out in U.S. talks with the Taliban and the Afghan government. But even if these things cannot be agreed on, the United States should still withdraw.
Whether the recently agreed-upon U.S.-Taliban draft peace framework will lead to real peace negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban or serve as U.S. President Donald Trump’s pretext for departing Afghanistan is unknown. The hard choices for the United States, the Afghan government, the Taliban, and regional and international stakeholders are still to come.
If the United States effectively uses its considerable residual leverage in Afghanistan, Pakistan does not try and turn Afghanistan into a weak protectorate, and the Taliban does not overreach inside Afghanistan, there is reason for optimism.
Unlike his predecessors, who asked India to downsize its presence in Afghanistan in order to placate Pakistan, U.S. President Trump is asking India to do more.
Congress has fallen behind on meeting oversight obligation, which is to assess the fitness of officials who would represent the United States overseas in diplomatic or military capacities.
The Trump administration’s strategy in Afghanistan is promising, but the United States must devote substantial resources and effort to ensure its success.
The Moscow meeting with the Taliban showed that advancing peace talks will require innovation and risk-taking. It is essential that the United States reengage in this process directly and keep pushing on all fronts until a format works.