Afghanistan peace talks: Main reason for U-turning Donald Trump

Trump dismissed peace talks with the Taliban because of 5 September attack in Kabul. Has Trump’s declaration lost the hope of peace in Afghanistan? Will the winds of peace no longer flow from the Karakoram or the Hindu Kush Mountains? Soon after Trump’s announcement to cancel the peace talks, the Taliban intensified their attacks, saying the fight would continue.

Logically, it seems that the discussion is over here. But past one year, the Taliban have attacked many times during the peace talks in Qatar. The Taliban have never agreed to a ceasefire. They have even increased the attack. The attacks have always been aimed at the Afghan government, but the discussion continued. Negotiations were never postponed because of the attack. The Taliban were active in both places-the negotiating table and the battlefield.

The US has not said anything specific to whether the peace talks were abolished or postponed. Only Trump has announced that talks are dead. But even after this announcement, many people think that negotiations can come back to the limelight. The discussion has now been postponed only. I think there are some reasons for this. Why Donald Trump canceled this peace talk now?

First, the meeting with the Taliban at Camp David shortly before the anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks. In September this is quite embarrassing for the United States. There was a discomfort inside the US administration surrounding the meeting. Many were angered around the meeting’s initiative in September. The Taliban has been given some sort of legitimacy while sitting in peace talks. If the meeting was followed by a formal invitation to Camp David, it would have been considered a huge victory for the Taliban. Because the Taliban are accused of sheltering al-Qaeda who is accused of the Twin Towers attack. If this agreement was signed the US has nothing the basis for the war against terror.

Second, during negotiations, the US and Afghan government always been under pressure by the Taliban. They have never wanted the Afghan government to be a part of the peace process. Taliban think Ashraf Ghani government is a puppet government. They do everything by the force of the US government. Yes, it is true the USA give priority on Ghani government. The peace talks on Afghanistan are expected between the three parties-the United States, the Afghan government and the Taliban. But the talks were between the US and the Taliban. In this situation, Trump has been trying to put pressure on the Taliban by halting peace talks. The purpose is to create a kind of psychological stress. Trump may be hoping the Taliban can make some concessions to resume negotiations. May announce a ceasefire or agree to sit at the same table with the Afghan government. Because the comments came from the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani shortly after Trump’s announcement, the Taliban attack must be stopped to achieve true peace. They Will have to negotiate with the Afghan government.

Third, the presidential election in Afghanistan on September 28, 2019. The Taliban have also step back from their Extremism in the wake of this election. They have declared Afghanistan would be as a moderate Islamist country. They are talking about changing the previous stance on women. Women and men both will be given equal opportunities for education. They demanded free and fair elections and counting each vote impartially. The reason for demanding the Taliban’s election is because of the unpopularity of the Afghan government. The Taliban think they can easily come out with a win if the election is fair. So when the US forces leave in Afghanistan, the Taliban are planning to capture Kabul-both in terms of power and weapons. With these things in mind, the United States is not trying to make a deal right now. Because the agreement could affect the election. Considering all this, the United States can take some tactics to hang it. At the same time, the United States may want to exploit the divide between the Taliban. There is a division of Kandahar and Peshawar between the Taliban.

Fourth, the US economic downturn. This is why Trump recently took a U-turn with NATO. This is the 18 years’ longest war in the United States since the Vietnam war. The United States did not benefit from the Vietnam War. So the United States wants to get out the Afghan war very soon. With the withdrawal of the troops by agreement, the Taliban should not rush and occupy Kabul, which is why the US is trying to negotiate with the Taliban. And the US administration is trying to decide on how to deal with the Taliban in the future. The US administration wants to ensure that Afghanistan withdraws its troops, even if it does not go against the US.

The fifth cause is India fact, there are three countries conflict over the Afghan issue like the USA, Indi, and Pakistan. Pakistan wants the recognition of the Taliban and India does not want it. it seems the United States is currently focusing on India’s demand. 

For many years of war, not only the western and Taliban fighters were killed. They also killed ordinary people. The United States is trying to reduce the flames. Otherwise, the United States could face war crimes and genocide in Afghanistan. The United States may be accused of engaging in terrorist activities when it comes to combating terrorism. 

Aashish Kiphayet
Aashish Kiphayet
South Asian Geopolitical analyst and New York based freelance journalist. He could be contacted at kiphayet[at]
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