News / Asia

Analysts Assess US Role in Afghan Peace Talks

Afghan, Pakistani Leaders Call For Talks With TalibanAfghan, Pakistani Leaders Call For Talks With Taliban
x
Afghan, Pakistani Leaders Call For Talks With Taliban
Afghan, Pakistani Leaders Call For Talks With Taliban
Sean Maroney
This week's pledge from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, to start peace talks with the Taliban within the next six months marks the first definitive target in the reconciliation process.  There are questions about what, if any, role the United States will play in the talks.

The Afghan government's pursuit of peace with the Taliban has been a drawn-out affair stretching over the last few years. Various Taliban intermediaries have spoken with Kabul, but so far neither side has publicly given ground on its demands.

One of the Taliban's biggest demands is that all foreign forces leave the country. And after more than a decade of fighting, war-weary NATO countries are more than willing to comply.

According to NATO, the international coalition has already transferred 87 percent of security control to the Afghan forces. But if peace talks with the Taliban do start within the next six months in Qatar, NATO forces - including U.S. troops - will still be fighting in Afghanistan.

Ismail Qasim Yar is the head of international relations for the Afghan High Peace Council, Kabul's representative in the negotiations with the Taliban.  He said the presence of foreign troops should not have a major effect.

He says that at a minimum, the six-month time frame should be enough to start talks, especially considering that Afghanistan's neighbor Pakistan, a country with historic ties to the Taliban, is on board is part of the negotiations.

Earlier this week, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States would continue to defer to Kabul.

"We are committed ourselves to support an Afghan-led process. The goal for everyone should be an inclusive political order in a strong, unified, sovereign Afghanistan," Nuland said.

Ronald Neumann, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, says that this does not mean the United States will play a marginal role in the peace talks. But Washington can only do so much.

"Our purpose, as I understand it, has always been to bring the other parties together.  All of the actual conditions have to be about how the Taliban and Afghan people will live together and whether an agreement is one that can be accepted by all Afghans. Those are things that Afghans have to decide.  Those are not things the U.S. should decide," Neuman said.

Even if the U.S. military support in Afghanistan helps force the Taliban to the table this year, Neumann says the complete NATO pullout scheduled for 2014 really puts the pressure on the Afghans to guide the peace process.

"As U.S. troops go down and mostly leave, the agreement - whatever agreement comes, if an agreement comes - has to be one in which Afghans have confidence that it will be kept," Neuman said.

But this will be difficult, considering the Taliban in Afghanistan is by no means an monolithic entity. The success of any deal will rely on the acquiescence of numerous local warlords and militant commanders with various ties to al-Qaida - everyone who gathered under the umbrella of the Taliban to fight against the Afghan government and NATO forces.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
February 08, 2013 1:42 AM
Given that there are many potential power brokers, they should start by drawing a constitution that all the different principal parties can use as a basis for governing Afghanistan; from that document, they can set agreements as to how they will all participate in a transitional gvmt, followed by general elections. The option of a federative state needs to be addressed, to ensure all of Afghan;s people can have slight different modes of governance. It is really going to be a very tough process, by squirting the final agreement(s), through an acceptable constitution, everyone remains an equal partner.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid