Afghanistan's New Offensive Against the Taliban Halts Peace Talks

May 14, 2020 | 10:00 GMT

Peace talks in Afghanistan have entered a presumptive gridlock after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the military to go into "offensive" mode and resume attacks against the Taliban, reversing a previous order in which Afghan forces were instructed to be in "active defense" against the militant group. Ghani's May 12 announcement comes in the wake of two large-scale attacks that have shaken Afghanistan, including the storming of a maternity hospital in Kabul that killed 24 civilians, as well as suicide bombing of a funeral procession in eastern Nangarhar province that also killed at 24. But with decreasing U.S. support, Afghanistan's shift to a more aggressive stance against the Taliban is unlikely to significantly shift dynamics on the battlefield. No other coalition partner is in a position to fill the military and monetary aid supplied by the United States, leaving Afghanistan in a more vulnerable state. ...

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