Small Wars Journal

Can the Afghan Cease-fire Pave the Way for Peace?

Can the Afghan Cease-fire Pave the Way for Peace? By Anthony Wanis-St. John and Scott R. Worden - The Hill

The Government of Afghanistan on June 7 offered a unilateral, week-long cease-fire to the Taliban beginning June 12, in observance of the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Of course, a cease-fire is not a peace agreement, but it can lead to one.

A successful cease-fire is first a humanitarian win because lives are saved during the lull in fighting. For this cease-fire — the first major cease-fire since the war began in 2001 — to become a political win, the parties should develop next steps on a path to negotiate their grievances rather than fight each other. While far from putting in place a viable peace process, this cease-fire marks a turning point that should not be squandered.

The Taliban’s acceptance of the cease-fire comes as a surprise since both sides seem prepared to continue fighting and there has been so little progress on the peace process. Yet, over the past year, several building blocks have laid a foundation for this moment: The military situation is at a stalemate, while internal and external fatigue over fighting helps make the cease-fire attractive…

Read on.