Negotiations between the Taliban and the United States

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In 2019 negotiations between the Taliban and the United States began with the help of Pakistan which plays a central role[1] in an attempt to end the 17 year long War in Afghanistan.[2]


The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان‬‎, romanized: ṭālibān, lit. 'students') are a Sunni Islamic organization that operates in Afghanistan. It also refers to itself as Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.[3] The Taliban emerged in 1994 taking advantage of the power vacuum that was left following the aftermath of the Afghan Civil War Mapping Militant Organizations. The group was mainly composed of students who had fought in the Soviet–Afghan War under the leadership of Mohammed Omar. [4]

It is reported Al-Qaeda were granted sanctuary on the condition that it does not antagonize the United States, but Osama bin Laden reneged on the agreement in 1998 when he orchestrated bombings of US embassies in East Africa. The episode was indicative of tensions that emerged between the two groups, analysts say. The Taliban was fundamentally parochial while Al-Qaeda had its sights set on global jihad.[4]

The US after the September 11 attacks made a request to the Taliban leadership under the Presidency of George W. Bush to hand over Osama bin Laden who was the prime suspect of the bombing.[5] The Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden to the US government demanding enough evidence of his participation in the attacks.[6] The US with its NATO allies, launched the invasion code-named Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001. The U.S. and its allies rapidly drove the Taliban from power by 17 December 2001, and built military bases near major cities across the country. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was later created by the United Nations Security Council to train Afghan National Security Forces to oversee military operations in the country so as to prevent any resurgence of the Taliban group. The Taliban has launched numerous attacks on the Afghan forces, government facilities and any organization that they believe are in alliance with the US.[7]

The US has been on the ground and directly involved in the 17-year old war that analysts have described as stalemate.[8] Ending the 17-year conflict has eluded former US presidents and Donald Trump has said that he considers the war too costly.[8]


The Afghan Taliban announced in December 2018 that they will meet with American negotiators in the Qatar to find a peaceful solution to the 17-year armed insurgency in Afghanistan.[9] Ashraf Ghani and his administration were not invited to the talks.[10] The Taliban had previously stated they would not negotiate with the government of Afghanistan, who they considered a puppet government.[2]

On February 25, 2019, peace talks began between the Taliban and the United States in Qatar, with Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Barada notably present.[2] US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reported that this round of negotiations were "more productive than they have been in the past" and that a draft version of a peace agreement had been agreed upon. The deal involved the withdrawal of US and international troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban not allowing other jihadist groups to operate within the country.[2] The Taliban also reported that progress was being made in the negotiations.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reuters (2019-02-09). "Pakistan in behind-the-scenes push to aid US-Taliban talks". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e "US peace envoy meets Taliban co-founder". 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  3. ^ Ibrahimi, S. Yaqub (30 October 2017). "The Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996–2001): 'War-Making and State-Making' as an Insurgency Strategy". Small Wars & Insurgencies. 28 (6): 947–972. doi:10.1080/09592318.2017.1374598.
  4. ^ a b Laub, Zachary (4 July 2014). "The Taliban in Afghanistan".
  5. ^ Jeffery, Simon (2001-09-15). "Bush confirms Bin Laden is prime suspect". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  6. ^ Staff and agencies (2001-10-14). "Bush rejects Taliban offer to hand Bin Laden over". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  7. ^ Harooni, Mirwais. "Eleven Afghan soldiers killed in latest attack in Kabul". U.S. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  8. ^ a b Vitkovskaya, Julie (2017-08-24). "4 things to know about America's war in Afghanistan". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  9. ^ "New contacts announced between the Taliban and Americans – Intellectual Observer". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  10. ^ Paigham, Nawid. "Marginalised government". D + C, Development and cooperation.