No more than a couple of months ago the US Congress would discuss the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Yet, in spite of an extensive amount of effort invested by the international community into the resolution of the Afghan war, the conflict stretching for now over 18 years just will not end, while the absence of any visible progress on the path toward reconciliation remains a major geopolitical concern for a many international players.
It’s true that the former US ambassador to Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad, after being appointed US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation held a series of meetings with representatives of the Taliban movement but none reaped any visible results. Experts believe that new rounds of negotiations are being protracted because of Washington’s stubborn unwillingness to accept certain conditions put forward by the Taliban, the principal of which is the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban seems to be willing to create an interim government in Afghanistan, but both the US and the sitting Afghan authorities oppose this proposition.
In early May, the sixth round of talks between representatives of the United States and the Taliban movement took place in Qatar. However, from the very first days it became clear that there was no hope that parties could achieve any progress in the foreseeable future. Throughout all of the rounds the United States has been persistently trying to get a seat for the representatives of the Kabul government at the negotiation table with the Taliban, while insisting that the Pentagon is entitled to keep a number of military bases within the territory of Afghanistan. It goes without saying that the Taliban would find both of these propositions unacceptable.
It’s hardly a secret that the Taliban refused to recognize the government of Afghanistan’s President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, while describing it as a puppet government. Washington’s emissaries persist in stating that the US must keep at least 700 servicemen deployed in Afghanistan under the pretext of protecting the US diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. The lasting presence of the US military, occupying Afghanistan for almost two decades in the territory of this sovereign state, is not something that the Taliban can even consider agreeing to too, so it’s adamant that all US troops must go.