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Is America Near The End Of Its Longest War?

A man walks on the edge of a wall with an Afghan national flag as he celebrates the 100th anniversary of the country's Independence Day in Kabul.
A man walks on the edge of a wall with an Afghan national flag as he celebrates the 100th anniversary of the country's Independence Day in Kabul.

After eight rounds of talks, the Taliban and the United States appear to be close to a peace deal in Afghanistan.

It’s America’s longest war. “The conflict has stretched for nearly 18 years, taking the lives of tens of thousands of Afghans and more than 3,500 American and coalition forces, and costing hundreds of billions of dollars,” The New York Times reports

The ninth round of negotiations is ongoing in Doha, Qatar.

Here’s an outline of the proposed deal on the table now, as summarized by The Wall Street Journal

Under the proposed U.S.-Taliban deal, the U.S. would withdraw its roughly 14,500 military personnel in steps, provided the insurgents publicly renounce al Qaeda, the Islamist militant group that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The Taliban also would be obliged to prevent Afghanistan from becoming an operating base for al Qaeda, Islamic State and other radical jihadist groups to launch terrorist attacks abroad. In addition, they would be required to negotiate with the Kabul government on a cease-fire and on future political arrangements in the country. Those talks are expected to get under way in Oslo soon after a U.S-Taliban accord is announced.

The current peace talks come on the heels of a suicide bombing at a wedding in Kabul that killed 63 people and injured nearly 200 more. The Times translated an interview with the groom.

“Death is better for me than this,” Mirwais Alami, the groom, told a local television channel. “I can’t get myself to go to the funerals, my legs feel weak. Even if they tear me to pieces now, and take a piece of me to each home that lost a loved one so they get solace, their hearts won’t get peace.”

How are Afghans considering a peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban? How might a deal affect upcoming Afghan elections? And what would it mean for U.S. interests?

Produced by Haili Blassingame.

GUESTS

Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst; vice president and director of the international security program at New America; author of “United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists”; @peterbergencnn

Nancy Youssef, National security reporter, The Wall Street Journal; @nancyayoussef

Laurel Miller, Asia program director, International Crisis Group; deputy and acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S. Department of State from 2013 to 2017

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.


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