What Happened: U.S. and Taliban officials will meet in Doha, Qatar, on June 29 for another round of talks aimed at finalizing an agreement to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, Dawn reported June 28. The two sides are expected to discuss the details of a potential U.S. troop withdrawal and the Taliban's pledge to prevent Afghan territory from being used for transnational terrorist attacks, among other issues.
Why It Matters: The United States and the Taliban have participated in multiple rounds of peace talks since October, though none has yielded an agreement due to several outstanding issues. That talks continue to resume in spite of these disagreements, however, can in itself be seen as progress.
Background: The United States currently has 14,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan. Prior reports have indicated that the two sides' disagreement on troop withdrawal stems largely from timing: The Taliban want the withdrawal to occur sooner, while Washington has pushed for a more gradual approach.
- Familiar Issues Cloud the Prospects for Afghan Peace (Feb. 26, 2019)
- The Endgame to Afghanistan's Long War Takes Shape (Jan. 30, 2019)