Small Wars Journal

Afghans Wonder: Is the Peace Deal Just for Americans?

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 9:37am

Afghans Wonder: Is the Peace Deal Just for Americans? By Emran Feroz - Foreign Policy

There’s a grim new joke going around parts of Afghanistan: If you want to be safe from Taliban attacks, move next to a U.S. air base. “I have never seen a dead American soldier,” said Fatteh Sattar, a civil engineer from the northern province of Baghlan. “It’s Afghans killing Afghans, and I guess this will not stop so quickly.” 

The Taliban, for their part, are now saying more clearly than ever that the peace deal signed Feb. 29 in Doha, Qatar, after 18 months of negotiations applies only to a truce with U.S. forces, not to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. “We signed an agreement with the Americans. But our jihad is not over,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Foreign Policy this week. “The stooges who supported the invaders during the last two decades are our enemies. This might change after additional talks but at the moment, we are still at war.” 

Even before the deal in Doha was signed, skepticism among ordinary Afghans rose as they watched the elected government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani—who is currently engaged in fight for legitimacy with his election rival, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah—get left out of the negotiations between U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Skepticism changed to outright fear and terror as the Taliban launched dozens of military operations against Afghan forces in the last few days, killing both armed soldiers and civilians, according to the Afghan Ministry of Interior…

Read on.