“The agreement just signed between the United States and the Taliban is an important first step in a complex negotiation to end the war in Afghanistan. Under its terms, the Taliban agrees not to fund, train or otherwise support, within the territory it controls, any terrorist groups (including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State) that threaten the United States or the Afghan state it has helped to establish. If the Taliban fulfills this commitment, it will reduce the terrorist threat to Americans and Afghans, enable reduced U.S. force levels and help lay the groundwork for a sustainable peace.
“This agreement is a substantial improvement from what was tentatively agreed to in September, before the killing of a U.S. serviceman by the Taliban caused President Trump to halt negotiations. Once talks resumed, the United States wisely insisted the Taliban demonstrate that it had both the will and the ability to reduce violence by requiring a substantial reduction in Taliban attacks for seven days before the signing of the agreement. U.S. negotiators also sought and won the condition that peace negotiations involving both the Afghan government and the Taliban would begin within weeks after signing. This is a major breakthrough, because the Taliban has for the past decade refused to talk to the Afghan government…”