“President Trump’s decision this month to call off peace talks with the Taliban should not obscure the fundamental fact that a political settlement of the Afghanistan conflict remains the best way to protect U.S. national security interests and prevent terrorist attacks from originating in the region.

“The U.S.-Taliban talks conducted on the U.S. side by Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, made some progress. Although the draft deal has not been made public, it reportedly established conditions under which the United States would withdraw some troops in return for commitments by the Taliban to take steps against international terrorists and to begin negotiations with the Afghan government and other representatives of Afghan society. If so, it is a reasonable starting point in the search for peace…”

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