On Saturday, a holiday commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, people here awaited the announcement of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban on the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Skepticism here about what comes next pales in comparison with the certainty that continued war will fail.
This agreement can start a process that is the best chance to end Afghanistan’s 40-year war. It meets the core demands of the original antagonists of that war’s latest stage: the withdrawal of U.S. troops for the Taliban and guarantees against harboring terrorists for the United States. Next would come negotiations between the supporters of the Afghan Islamic republic and the Taliban on conditions to end their war, even as the battle against global terrorists continues.… Seguir leyendo »
President Trump’s willingness to withdraw U.S. military forces from Afghanistan opened the way for peace negotiations between the Taliban and U.S. officials. Trump deserves credit for discarding the Washington dogma that the United States must maintain an indefinite military presence in Afghanistan in pursuit of an ever-receding position of strength. As of this week, a framework agreement on U.S. troop withdrawal and Taliban counterterrorism guarantees seems to be emerging from the talks.
But avoiding the recurrence of bloodshed will require more than that agreement and the negotiations with the Afghan government that must follow. It will also depend on reliable international assistance and cooperation with Afghanistan’s neighbors.… Seguir leyendo »
President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan is taking a risk most leaders would shun: He is proposing to improve Afghanistan’s contentious relations with Pakistan in the hope of paving the way toward both peace with the Taliban and regional economic cooperation. Much of the Afghan public is skeptical, because Pakistan has long treated Afghanistan like a client state. Mr. Ghani will need to show results fast.
The U.S. government should do its utmost to support him when he comes to Washington on an official visit next week. For the United States, the stakes are greater than whether President Obama can extract American troops by the end of his term without destabilizing Afghanistan.… Seguir leyendo »
El gran juego ya no es divertido. Los imperialistas del siglo XIX usaron ese término para describir la lucha entre los británicos y los rusos por el dominio de Afganistán y Asia Central. Más de un siglo después el juego continúa, pero ahora los jugadores han aumentado radicalmente, quienes viven en el tablero se han convertido en jugadores, y la intensidad de la violencia y las amenazas que representa afectan al resto del mundo.
Afganistán ha estado en guerra tres décadas, y la guerra se está extendiendo a Pakistán y otros países. Es necesario llamar a un tiempo de descanso para que los jugadores, incluido el presidente electo Barack Obama, puedan negociar un nuevo trato para la región.… Seguir leyendo »