The U.S. and Taliban Prepare to Take a First Step Toward Peace in Afghanistan

Feb 28, 2020 | 21:40 GMT

This photo shows a U.S. Chinook helicopter landing at a provincial capital in Afghanistan.

In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, a U.S. military helicopter lands on a field in Maidan Shar, the capital of Afghanistan's Wardak province. A peace deal between the United States and the Taliban, expected to be signed Feb. 29, will be the first step toward possibly ending the U.S. military presence in the country.

(THOMAS WATKINS/AFP via Getty Images)


  • The impending peace deal with the Taliban is just one of the many steps remaining as the United States tries to end its 18-year involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
  • Major unresolved issues between the United States and the Taliban include the timeline and scope of a U.S. withdrawal and the status of al Qaeda.
  • Factions within both the Taliban and the Afghan government will complicate talks between them, and possibly spawn splinter groups.

After a weeklong reduction in violence in Afghanistan, the United States and the Taliban are set to sign a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29. Both sides hope the deal will be the first step toward ending U.S. involvement in the Afghan war and bringing peace to a land that has been in an almost constant state of war since 1979. Two of the most important points of the agreement include the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and a promise from the Taliban that it will not allow transnational militant groups to use the country as a base. Once it's signed, the next step will be talks among the Afghan government, the Taliban and other parties to establish a durable cease-fire and eventually end the country's war. But the road ahead will be strewn with pitfalls. ...

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