Small Wars Journal

What Is Missing From Afghan Peace Talks

Wed, 04/15/2020 - 12:19am

What Is Missing From Afghan Peace Talks by Ahmad Massoud - New York Times

PANJSHIR VALLEY, Afghanistan - After four decades of conflict, Afghanistan seems poised to embrace superficial peace. The negotiations between the United States and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, culminated in a peace agreement between the two sides. The agreement paved the way for a national peace dialogue between the Taliban and a conglomerate of Afghan political factions and figures led by the government of Afghanistan.

The people of Afghanistan, who have suffered for decades, are investing great hopes in these talks to settle the differences between the warring sides and achieve a permanent peace acceptable to all.

The most salient question begging for attention during the talks — expected to start soon — is understanding and resolving the key structural obstacles to the establishment of a lasting peace and just political order in postwar Afghanistan. Informal reports from Doha suggest that the Taliban, who are yet to show good faith in negotiations, have already declared their support for a highly centralized state system.

For a lasting peace and just political order to be established in Afghanistan, significant structural changes need to be made to our highly centralized political and administrative system that concentrates power and financial resources in the office of the president with little accountability…

Read on.