12 Mar 2019

Taliban Wipe Out an Afghan Army Company While Talking Peace With the U.S.

As the US government continues to negotiate with the Taliban in hopes of reaching a peace deal to end the war of 18 years between the two sides, the insurgent group is putting pressure on its negotiation partner through offensive actions in Afghanistan. The latest charge occurred on Monday, when

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08 Mar 2019

U.S. Peace Talks With Taliban Trip Over a Big Question: What Is Terrorism?

Anonymous sources with insider knowledge on the ongoing peace negotiations between the US government and the Taliban say that the talks almost broke down various times and progress is slow due to various fundamental disagreements, including how terrorism may be defined. The question about what defines terrorism is a crucial

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04 Mar 2019

U.S. and Taliban Talks Progress Despite Attacks and Regional Tensions

Despite a recent Taliban attack on a base of Afghanistan’s army in which at least 25 Afghan soldiers were killed, the US and Taliban on Saturday resumed peace negotiations in Doha. On Friday, a Taliban spokesman spoke of progress, elaborating that “[t]he technical groups are working on the details of

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28 Feb 2019

U.S., Taliban Pause Peace Talks In Doha For Two Days

The Doha peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban have been paused for two days “for internal deliberations,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative heading the US delegation, announced on Thursday. Khalilzad stated that both sides “continue to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually [peace].” The

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25 Feb 2019

‘The work begins’: US, Taliban arrive in Doha for fresh talks

On Monday, a new round of high-level talks between the US and the Taliban is starting in Doha, Qatar. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will be meeting a Taliban delegation that includes influential leader and cofounder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Khalilzad stated that the talks, which follow a week of 

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25 Feb 2019

Afghanistan’s war killed a record number of civilians in 2018

A new report by the United Nations (UN) shows that 3,804 civilians were killed in Afghanistan’s war last year, the highest number since the UN began keeping track in 2009. Previously, the highest civilian death toll had been recorded in 2014, the year in which the United States started to

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19 Feb 2019

Slowly but surely, China is moving into Afghanistan

While Afghans are fearing that the US may be about to “betray” them by significantly reducing its military presence in the country, China seems interested in getting more involved in Afghanistan by making it part of its 2013 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI comprises Chinese infrastructure projects in over

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25 Jan 2019

Taliban reaches agreement with US on al Qaeda, Islamic State

While the U.S. and the Taliban remain at odds on many key negotiating points, they have reached agreement on one: that al Qaeda and the Islamic State must be kept out of the country. The Taliban refuses to negotiate with the Afghani government they perceive to be usurpers, but they

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14 Jan 2019

The Taliban and the Changing Nature of Pashtun Nationalism

Since the beginnings of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan in 2001, the U.S. has sought to understand the Taliban’s interactions with tribal structures and conceptions of Pashtun identity, using these understandings to build military strategy and diplomatic policy. Pashtuns make up over 40% of the heavily fragmented Afghani population, and drove

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09 Jan 2019

Afghan Taliban cancel peace talks with US officials in Qatar

The Taliban has cancelled peace talks with the US in Qatar after refusing to allow the inclusion of Afghani government officials in the talks, according to both the group and US officials. The Taliban claims that US is their adversary and that the existing Afghani government is a “puppet” government,

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