US Taliban negotiations on Afghanistan appear to be progressing

Posted Feb 13, 2020 by Ken Hanly
Negotiations between the Taliban and the US to reach an agreement in Afghanistan appear to be gathering momentum. A partial ceasefire is expected to be agreed upon soon.
Afghan Taliban militants and residents stand on an Afghan National Army armoured Humvee as they cele...
Afghan Taliban militants and residents stand on an Afghan National Army armoured Humvee as they celebrate a ceasefire in Kandahar province
The partial ceasefire should be followed by a peace deal soon
Once a partial ceasefire is concluded there is hope that a complete deal could be reached soon afterwards. However, earlier a deal in principle was reached and Trump rejected it after a Taliban attack killed a soldier. However, no ceasefire had been reached and the US too had carried on attacks.
Trump appears hesitant to sign on to a deal
US officials appear to be emphasizing the partial ceasefire as opposed to any peace deal. Trump has said that he will carry out troop cuts ahead of the election next November whether or not the peace deal is actually reached. However, Trump's statements cannot always be relied upon.
Trump's rejection of an earlier deal has been followed by additional demands. The Taliban have expressed their annoyance at Trump's tactics and have said they will not accede to any further demands unless given something in return.
Nevertheless, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said there had been notable progress in talks on a peace deal, and claimed that the Taliban had made a proposal to deliver on Trump's demand for violence reduction. However, if Trump continues adding demands this will probably derail the entire process and the Afghan war will simply continue to drag on. However, if US troops are reduced as Trump plans, the Taliban will likely extend their control within Afghanistan.
Republican senators oppose the Afghan war
Both Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri both Republican expressed their opposition to the US participation in the Afghan conflict last Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee dealing with the costs of the Afghan war and the hundreds of pages of audits that have shown the deep corruption and waste involved in Afghanistan.
Both senators claimed that after 19 years in Afghanistan the goals of the US are muddled, the cost both in cash and lives is unjustifiably high, and any accomplishments unclear. Paul for long an opponent of the war said he wanted to find a way to end the war. Hawley added: “If we cannot show any progress on any metric — we’ve invested $1 trillion. We’ve lost thousands of lives. I don’t understand. The American people have been hugely patient, hugely patient. I just don’t see what’s going on here.”