The Rise of Afghanistan's Taliban by Masood Ahmad Azizi – The National Interest
The latest round of U.S.-Taliban talks appears to be heading to a framework for peace. In exchange for a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the Taliban have agreed to a guarantee that Afghan territory will not be used to sponsor terrorist groups or stage attacks against the United States or its allies. This would be followed by a nationwide ceasefire and the start of an intra-Afghan dialogue, leading to the release of prisoners from both sides.
For all the progress, the peace talks face criticism for excluding the Afghan government. The Taliban have consistently refused to recognize Afghanistan’s elected government—calling it a U.S. puppet—and demanded to negotiate solely with the United States. But intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan leadership will only begin once a deal with the United States is agreed upon.
The ugly truth is that the Taliban have a legitimate claim of representing a part of Afghan society…