US, Taliban want Peace after 18 years of Afghanistan war. What kind of Peace?
While Afghan peace talks resume between US and Taliban, elections must proceed with the Afghan government and the people.
The Taliban have held peace talks with intra-Afghans and as well with the U.S. special representative Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha, Qatar. So far, these discussions have reached the ninth round, which were systematically organized one after the other in a planned schedule.
The U.S. and Taliban want change in Afghanistan. As the Taliban negotiation leader pointed out that Americans wanted peace talks as early as in 2007. But the talks officially began in 2010 with the Quadrilateral Coordination Group which consisted of four countries.
Meanwhile, the Taliban never joined those talks in the QCG. The talks ended after former President Barack Obama left office.
In 2018, the talks on Afghanistan peace started again under President Donald Trump as he listened to the needs of the people of Afghanistan while ignoring what his generals told him.
But the American public have watched far too many casualties coming back home. The public does not support continued military war in Afghanistan. In the last two years, there have been more than 2,500 US army casualties.
Yesterday, US Republican Lindsey Graham echoed that pulling out all troops from Afghanistan would be a disastrous recipe of another Iraq left behind where ISIS enjoys freedom. The answer is Afghanistan has a force of over 60,000 professionals who are equipped in training to deal with such a threat. There are currently about 5,000 ISIS in Afghanistan.
The peace that the U.S. and Taliban leaders portray seems to be trusting them to pursue the strategic goals of keeping gains over the last 18 years. Afghans believe it's for their interest what they are doing, but they are indeed ignoring the other war-lords in the country such as Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, and Abdul Rashid Dostum.
There are currently about 8,500 US forces in Afghanistan. They could withdraw from the country as early as next year if an agreement is reached.
Written by Meladul Haq Ahmadzai, political analyst in Canada. Visit www.ahmadzai.ca for more analysis on Afghanistan.
Meladul Haq Ahmadzai