It’s been nearly two decades of war that has taken thousands of lives and cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars.
And late last week, a temporary truce with the Taliban was finally reached after 18 years of fighting and if that holds, a more permanent resolution is expected to be signed on February 29.
If successfully implemented, the weeklong “reduction in violence” agreement, which came into force at midnight Friday local time (1930 GMT, 2:30 p.m. EST), will be followed by the signing of the peace accord on Feb. 29, wrapping up America's longest-running conflict and fulfilling one of President Donald Trump's main campaign promises.
Friday's announcement of an agreement on terms for a peace deal follows months of negotiations between the two sides that have broken down before. Yet both parties have signaled a desire to halt the fighting that began with the U.S. invasion after the September 11, 2001, attacks by Osama bin Laden's Afghanistan-based al-Qaida network.
Should the truce stand, the U.S.-Taliban deal would be followed within 10 days by the start of all-Afghan peace talks that could result in the formation of a new government in Kabul, a pledge from the Taliban not to allow terrorist groups to operate in the country, and the phased withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign troops over 18 months. February 21 – US News and World Report
It’s a historic moment for all involved, but there’s a lot of questions to be asked.
- Does an agreement like this have a chance of succeeding?
- What will happen to the area once all U.S. and other troops finally withdraw?
- Is this potentially the first sign of peace in the region?
- What protection does Afghanistan’s fragile government have if left to stand on its own?
There are a lot of scenarios to consider, and if you are a journalist covering this vent, that’s where our experts can help with your questions, stories and ongoing coverage.
Dr. Craig Albert is a leading expert on war, terrorism and American politics and has testified to the U.S. Congress on Islamic Extremism. He is also the Director of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies at Augusta University. He has experience with all forms of local and national news organizations and is available to speak to media regarding this latest development between America and the Talban. Simply click on Dr. Albert’s icon to arrange an interview or to learn more about his expertise.
Craig Albert Director of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies
Dr. Craig Albert focuses on national security, cyberconflict, ethnic conflict, and political thought.