Since last month’s U.S.-Taliban peace plan, there have been nearly 80 attacks in Afghanistan. The violence could derail the deal that calls for U.S. troops to withdraw over the next 14 months.
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It’s true that the Trump administration signed a “peace deal” with the Taliban — something that eluded both George W. Bush and Barack Obama — but a closer look at the agreement reveals it to be riddled with conditions that are fraught with obstacles.
The U.S. has signed a deal with the Taliban aimed at drawing down its military presence and ending its 18-year war in Afghanistan. The long-anticipated deal comes after a year and a half of negotiations and following a week-long partial truce. Officials hope the accord will set the stage for a more detailed peace plan that creates a power-sharing arrangement and lasting ceasefire, but the deal did not include a key player: the U.S.-backed Afghanistan government.
4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later.
Fair warning. Stop reading right now if you want, because I’m going to repeat myself. What choice do I have, since my subject is the Afghan War (America’s second Afghan War, no less)? I began writing about that war in October 2001, almost 17 years ago, just after the US invasion of Afghanistan. That was how I inadvertently launched the unnamed listserv that would, a year later, become TomDispatch. Given the website’s continuing focus on America’s forever wars (a phrase I first used in 2010), what choice have I had but to write about Afghanistan ever since?