A series of recent deadly attacks in Afghanistan has highlighted the ongoing challenge to end a war now in its 18th year.
Indiscriminate assaults by the Taliban and fighters from the Khorasan Province branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have left millions of Afghans fearing for their lives each and every day. At least 20 police officers were killed in a Taliban ambush in Farah province on Sunday, days after dozens of people were killed in a suicide bomb blast that targeted a gathering of religious figures in the capital Kabul.
In recent years both the United States and Nato have pulled their forces away from direct combat, instead focusing on providing advice and assistance to Afghan security forces. Yet the Taliban remains a powerful adversary and now targets areas where they previously had little influence or power. Meanwhile, a drought affecting swaths of western Afghanistan has only compounded people’s misery.
With the ongoing war effectively in a stalemate, both the US and Russia have held separate talks with the Taliban in an effort to start a peace process. Yet the Taliban is still reticent to deal directly with the government in Kabul, despite the administration’s offer to hold face-to-face talks without preconditions.
Our panel will consider what it will take to end Afghanistan’s war of attrition as major world powers crack open their doors to the Taliban. Join the conversation.
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