What Happened: U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter on Feb. 28 that the United States and the Taliban are making progress after three days of talks aimed at ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
Why It Matters: Although both the United States and the Taliban are reporting progress in talks and a mutual commitment to peace, discussions would likely enter a challenging phase if the Taliban agree to direct talks with the Afghan government.
Background: The United States and the Taliban are discussing a potential U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and a Taliban cease-fire, among other issues, although the militant group has thus far been unwilling to engage in direct talks with Kabul.
- Familiar Issues Cloud the Prospects for Afghan Peace (Feb. 26, 2019)
- The Endgame to Afghanistan's Long War Takes Shape (Jan. 30, 2019)
- Tracking Jihadist Movements in 2019: The Taliban and Grassroots Militants (Jan. 24, 2019)