Scarred and Weary, an Afghan Force Wonders: What Is Peace? By Mujib Mashal – New York Times
… It is the final days before a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban insurgency is expected to be signed, and the partial cease-fire that was set as a precondition seems to be holding. The police on this remote, southern battlefield suddenly have time for questions they once hardly imagined asking: Could there really be peace? What would that be like?
… During a seven-day period of violence reduction agreed to by the Taliban and Afghan security forces as a test run, officials have recorded as much as an 80 percent drop in major attacks. That compliance rate is most likely acceptable enough for the signing of the deal to go ahead on Saturday, in the Gulf state of Qatar.
An agreement would formally begin the end of the United States’ longest war, laying out a conditional timeline for the remaining 12,000 U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan. But for Afghans, it would be the beginning of a long and difficult challenge. Bitter enemies must try to find their way to a peace, and maybe someday a reconciliation, that they have never experienced, and that their country has not seen in generations…