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AAN Dossier XXV: The Quest for Peace in Afghanistan, 2015 to 2020

AAN Team 16 min

Any day now, a first diplomatic breakthrough toward peace in Afghanistan is expected: the United States and the Taleban have both announced that they have finalised their negotiations which would exchange withdrawal of the US and other NATO troops from the country for anti-terrorism guarantees from the Taleban. These negotiations started in October 2018 in Doha, Qatar and have gone on over nine rounds, interrupted by an American Presidential tweet calling off the deal in September 2019 and then resumed. There was also one pause in mid-December 2019 triggered by a Taleban terrorist attack on the Bagram airbase.

Peace march participant Sardar Muhammad Sarwari from Helmand. Source: Mohammad Omar Lemar

The text of the agreement is reported to contain a timetable for the gradual and conditions-based withdrawal of the foreign troops that have been deployed in Afghanistan since late 2001, as a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, planned by al-Qaeda, from its base in Afghanistan.

The first stage of the deal-making will be a seven-day ‘reduction in violence’. If that is considered successful, the US-Taleban bilateral agreement would immediately be signed. This, in turn, would open the way for ‘intra-Afghan negotiations’ that are scheduled to commence within another ten days. These would be the real peace talks between those representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taleban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The text of both agreements are, as this dossier was published, not yet public. Even when they are, many questions will remain unclear. Perhaps most important is the make-up of any IR Afghanistan delegation. This is tricky, not only because the results of the 2019 presidential election area still not known and may well be disputed. This makes a possible claim by President Ashraf Ghani that the government can represent Afghanistan weak. Indeed, the need for the IR Afghanistan team to be representative is acknowledged, but not how to make it so: political heavyweights may demand a place on the team, but do they represent the vast majority of Afghans? Women and civil society and the victims of past war crimes will also feel they should have a say. Up till now, the Taleban have managed to veto the presence of the Afghan government, including its officials except in their private capacity, at any discussion; will this change? How to get a legitimate team with a clear negotiating line may well be the next hurdle.

At this crucial junction of events in Afghanistan, AAN has put together a third “Peace Talks” dossier. It brings together all related AAN analysis on how we have come to be at the current stage of what may turn out to be an Afghan peace process. Step-by-step, it provides a much needed historical perspective to current goings-on.

The AAN reports in this dossier are sorted along a reverse timeline, starting in February 2019 and going back to January 2018 when, looking back at the previous year, we commented that there had been “another lost year for peace in Afghanistan.”

At the end of the list of AAN reports in this dossier, you can continue reading what happened before January 2018 and before mid-2015 in our first two “Peace Talks (and Reconciliation)” dossiers.

What is in this dossier

Our compilation starts when things started moving again slowly. First, this came from the grassroots, with the Helmand peace marchers, about whom we published a number of dispatches, and with the three-day ceasefire over Eid ul-Fitr, which set a positive example of a short-term truce working. In October 2018, Pakistan released former Taleban deputy leader Mullah Baradar and he became the Taleban’s chief negotiator with the US, following which the US and Taleban officially began to negotiate. President Ashraf Ghani felt more and more sidelined, and we looked at his attempts to bring drive the ‘Kabul Process’ forward, including holding a ‘Peace Loya Jirga’ in early 2019. Finally, we closely followed developments as things began to move between the US and the Taleban in the second half of 2019, and into 2020.

This dossier also features dispatches providing important context to the talks, any deal and to what might follow, including: what is known about Taleban ideas of a future political system in Afghanistan; the relation between peace and justice, and peace and the 2019 presidential election; and the role of women in any Afghan peace process. There are also two dispatches looking at what people in ten districts across Afghanistan think about the Doha talks and what would be needed in their area to bring about an end to the conflict. Not included in this dossier, but also part of our scrutiny of Taleban ‘governance’ are reports examining how public services – education, health, communications and power – are delivered in districts where insurgents are in control or have a high degree of influence, our nine-part series in 2018-19, “One Land, Two Rules.” (1)

The reports in this dossier (in reverse chronological order) are:

2020

1. First Breakthrough Toward Peace? A look at the seven-day ‘reduction of violence’

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 17 February 2020

The United States and the Taleban have agreed to reduce violence for seven days, an agreement which would also apply to the Afghan government forces. While not a full ceasefire, it would be a ‘test’ of the seriousness of the parties before the signing of a bilateral deal agreeing the withdrawal of US troops, Taleban guarantees on al-Qaeda and the start of intra-Afghan talks. Criticism of the reduction of violence deal has focussed on the short time period slated for it, the fact that it will likely fall in winter when the number of operations is lower than in the rest of the year, and on whether it can be verified. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, here assesses the deal, focussing on all three aspects.

First Breakthrough Toward Peace? A look at the seven-day ‘reduction of violence’

2. Still Ifs and Whens: The US and the Taleban inch toward a bilateral agreement

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 13 February 2020

There have been increasing indications over the past few days that the United States and the Taleban are edging toward an agreement – or possibly two. While a declaration of a mutual ‘reduction of violence’ seems imminent, a bilateral US-Taleban agreement opening the way to peace negotiations between the Afghan parties to the conflict appears possibly still weeks away. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig looks at the contours of the deal that appears to be emerging, puts it into context and points out questions still open.

Still Ifs and Whens: The US and the Taleban inch toward a bilateral agreement

3. US-Taleban Agreement Still in the Air: Disputes about a ‘ceasefire’ versus ‘reduction of violence’

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 30 January 2020

Over the past few weeks, the Taleban first stoked expectations that an agreement with the United States was imminent, and then expressed frustration that it was not yet signed. They had appeared to be trying to edge forward to an agreement by offering to “scale down military operations” against both US and Afghan troops – and portraying this as a major breakthrough. The US has not reacted to Taleban statements at all. Even so, it seems US Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been focussing on this question in his talks with the Taleban. Meanwhile, the Afghan government continues to call for a full-scale ceasefire ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, which the US-Taleban deal is supposed to open the way for. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig investigates what a ‘ceasefire’ versus a ‘reduction of violence’ might mean, lays out what we know about the recent US-Taleban talks and the possible pending agreement, and what it all might mean for levels of violence in the country.

US-Taleban Agreement Still in the Air: Disputes about a ‘ceasefire’ versus ‘reduction of violence’

4. Peace in the Districts (2): Prospects, approaches and an emphasis on a ‘good peace’

Author: S Reza Kazemi
Date: 20 December 2019

In this second of two dispatches on what people in ten districts across Afghanistan think about prospects for peace, we hear their views on the relationship between a possible high-level peace deal and actual peace in the districts. Interviewees expressed a striking mix of optimistic and sceptical opinions as to the local viability of any peace deal. They were also mostly divided as to whether they thought a bottom-up or a top-down approach to achieving peace was the most useful. However, as AAN researcher Reza Kazemi found, there was broad agreement that, this time, by some way or other, if peace is to be found, it needs to be a ‘good peace,’ one that ends the drivers of conflict and does not merely pave the way for a new phase in this long war. (Research by Ali Mohammad Sabawoon, Ehsan Qaane, Fazal Muzhary, Khadija Hussaini, Obaid Ali, Reza Kazemi and Rohullah Sorush)

Peace in the Districts (2): Prospects, approaches and an emphasis on a ‘good peace’

 

2019

1. Peace in the Districts (1): A chasm between high talks and local concerns in Afghanistan

Author: S Reza Kazemi
Date: 11 December 2019

As talks between the United States and the Taleban resume in Doha, we bring you the first of two dispatches on what Afghans in ten districts across the country think about the prospects for peace. The focus of the first dispatch is a theme which emerged from the interviews, the relationship – or lack of it – between the high-level talks in Doha and local expectations for peace. Interviewees felt the talks have centred on US and Taleban interests, not those of Afghan civilians caught up in the war. Their main expectation from talks was a ceasefire, and their hopes were very basic: to live without fear of being killed, to sleep at night and to have the bare minimum for a life worth living. They expressed scepticism about the motivations of all three parties involved in the conflict, the US, the Taleban and the government, and although some doubted that the government represented them, as AAN researcher Reza Kazemi found, most believed it had to be at the negotiating table. (Research by Ali Mohammad Sabawoon, Ehsan Qaane, Fazal Muzhary, Khadija Hussaini, Obaid Ali, Reza Kazemi and Rohullah Sorush)

Peace in the Districts (1): A chasm between high talks and local concerns in Afghanistan

2. Trump Ends Talks with the Taleban: What happens next?

Author: Kate Clark
Date: 8 September 2019

United States President Donald Trump has called off talks with the Taleban and cancelled signing of an agreement with them. The trigger, he said, was a suicide bomb which killed one US soldier and “11 other people” carried out “seemingly [to] strengthen their bargaining position.” However, voices against the ‘agreement in principle’ deal had already been mounting in Washington and Kabul, especially since the Afghan leadership was shown the text of the deal last week. Trump’s cancellation of the agreement has allowed the Taleban to promote themselves as peacemakers, and President Ghani to restate his vision of elections followed by ‘wise and precise’ peacemaking. Kate Clark (with input from the rest of the AAN team) has been looking at today’s events and their implications. She observes that, even though the prospective US-Taleban deal did not look very promising as a path to lasting peace in Afghanistan, the collapse of negotiations has left everyone wondering – what now?

Trump Ends Talks with the Taleban: What happens next?

3. US-Taleban talks: An imminent agreement without peace?

Author: Thomas Ruttig and Martine van Bijlert
Date: 30 August 2019

News coming out of the latest round of US-Taleban negotiations suggest that an agreement is imminent, but that in the desire to meet the White House’s 1 September 2019 deadline, the US have made concessions that may well complicate an actual peace agreement in Afghanistan. It appears that the US have dropped the “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” principle and have relegated two of the four original topics of the negotiations to future “intra-Afghan negotiations” including the all-important ceasefire. The on-going dilemma of what should come first – peace negotiations or presidential election – continues to complicate matters. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig and Martine van Bijlert lay out what can be gleaned so far from the fog of leaks, rumours and conflicting statements.

US-Taleban talks: An imminent agreement without peace?

4. AAN Q&A: What came out of the Doha intra-Afghan conference?

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 11 July 2019

Representatives of Afghanistan’s warring parties and civil society met at a peace conference in Qatar’s capital Doha on 7-8 July 2019. They all participated ‘in their personal capacities’ in order to circumvent the Taleban’s rejection of direct talks with the Afghan government. The conference that took place behind closed doors ended with a joint final resolution. AAN’s co-director Thomas Ruttig analyses the documents and looks at the conference’s context, particularly in relation to the parallel US-Taleban negotiations. He finds that participants have produced elements of a possible procedure and topics for intra-Afghan peace negotiations but that a number of issues that were left out reflect how much controversy still has to be bridged.

AAN Q&A: What came out of the Doha intra-Afghan conference?

5. Before Doha 7: Afghanistan peace efforts recovering from a lull?

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 29 June 2019

The seventh round of United States-Taleban talks in Doha is imminent. But US-Taleban negotiations in Doha for a negotiated solution to the Afghan war have been stalling in recent rounds, after some initial progress. So far they also still exclude the third key actor, the Afghan government. Parties in the so-called intra-Afghan dialogue have also been treading water; so far they have been hosted by the Russian government but should now continue in Doha, too. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig looks at what has been achieved so far, the obstacles, including significant gaps between the US and Taleban positions, that still stand in the way of a comprehensive peace agreement and latest US attempts to insert a new dynamic into the Doha talks.

Before Doha 7: Afghanistan peace efforts recovering from a lull?

6. The End of the Jirga: Strong Words and Not Much Controversy

Author: Kate Clark, Ehsan Qaane and Ali Yawar Adili
Date: 3 May 2019

The Consultative Peace Loya Jirga has ended in Kabul with reports back from the fifty committees of delegates, a speech from President Ghani and a communiqué which he said is now the government’s ‘roadmap’. Key points emerging from the jirga were calls for an ‘intra-Afghan’ dialogue with the Afghan government in charge, for a ceasefire and protection of women’s and other rights. Kate Clark, Ehsan Qaane and Ali Yawar Adili (with input from the rest of the AAN team), report on the jirga’s conclusions and ask whether it will strengthen the government’s hands vis-à-vis the Taleban.

The End of the Jirga: Strong Words and Not Much Controversy

7. AAN Q&A: Between ‘Peace Talks’ and Elections – The 2019 Consultative Peace Loya Jirga

Author: Jelena Bjelica and Thomas Ruttig
Date: 26 April 2019

The four-day Consultative Peace Loya Jirga will commence on Monday, 29 April 2019. This assembly – the sixth loya jirga since 2001 – was convened by President Ghani with the aim of discussing the framework for negotiations with the Taleban. Originally scheduled to start on 17 March, it had to be delayed for organisational reasons. Like the three most recent of these loya jirgas, it has been labelled as ‘consultative’, a qualification that changes this institution’s constitutional definition as a decision-making body. In this dispatch, AAN’s Jelena Bjelica and Thomas Ruttig (with input from the AAN team) provide answers to six basic questions about the loya jirga.

AAN Q&A: Between ‘Peace Talks’ and Elections – The 2019 Consultative Peace Loya Jirga

8. Women and Afghan Peace Talks: ‘Peace consensus’ gathering left Afghan women without reassurance

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 15 April 2019

One of the recurrent themes around the US-Taleban negotiations to end the Afghan war (so far without participation of the Afghan government) is the demand of Afghan women for “meaningfully participation” in the preparations for inclusive peace talks. This expectation also figured at a national consensus gathering (ejma) in Kabul in late February this year. The ejma – shortened from a two to a half day event – fell short of being an actual consultation. Nevertheless, the women’s broader campaign has influenced the Afghan and US’s messaging, although so far this has not resulted in any concrete steps. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, who observed the ejma’s proceedings, looks back at the gathering and summarises the arguments (with input from AAN’s Rohullah Sorush who participated in the event and Sari Kouvo).

Women and Afghan Peace Talks: ‘Peace consensus’ gathering left Afghan women without reassurance

9. Peace in The Air, But Where Is Justice? Efforts to get transitional justice on the table

Author: Ehsan Qaane and Sari Kouvo
Date: 28 February 2019

A new museum, commemorating war crimes and their victims, has opened in Kabul. The Afghanistan Centre for Memories and Dialogue is dedicated to collecting the stories of survivors and the families of victims of war crimes. Their voices have rarely been heard in recent decades, partly because dealing with the legacy of violations in the conflict – what is known as ‘transitional justice’ – has received only limited government and international support. Transitional justice is again at risk of being marginalised in the current effort to find a peace deal, say AAN’s Ehsan Qaane and Sari Kouvo. Nevertheless, against the odds, there are some efforts, mainly by activists, to promote transitional justice; these efforts could, in an ideal world, be built on.

Peace in The Air, But Where Is Justice? Efforts to get transitional justice on the table

10. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”: First steps in Afghan peace negotiations

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 4 February 2019

With the US-Taleban negotiations in Doha actually addressing how to end the Afghan war, and with first progress being made in the form of an agreed draft framework, Afghanistan seems to be slowly inching beyond the impasse of only ‘talks about talks.’ With this, a peace process has possibly left the starting blocks, but only barely. The main problem is that, so far, the negotiations have only involved two of the three main parties to the conflict. The Taleban are formally still blocking the inclusion of the Afghan government in the talks, but they might have room for manoeuvre. The Afghan government, meanwhile, has been incensed by talks about an interim government by which it feels being undermined. AAN co-director and senior analyst Thomas Ruttig looks at the issues that were discussed at the talks, as well as those that were not yet, at least not officially (with input from Martine van Bijlert and Obaid Ali).

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”: First steps in Afghan peace negotiations

11. What Other Peace Processes Can Teach Afghanistan (1): Colombia’s agreement with FARC

Author: Martine van Bijlert
Date: 13 December 2018

With the renewed focus on possible peace talks in Afghanistan, it is useful to look at what can be learned from processes in other countries. Although they cannot be treated as models, they can serve as examples of what is possible and provide inspiration, ideas and a shared language. In the first dispatch of a new series, Martine van Bijlert looks at the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the country’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC. She discusses the main choices – talks without ceasefire, meetings only outside the country, a limited but ambitious agenda and taking the time it needs – and notes how the case of Colombia shows both what is possible and what is difficult in trying to bring a complex conflict to an end.

What Other Peace Processes Can Teach Afghanistan (1): Colombia’s agreement with FARC

 

2018

1. Getting to the Steering Wheel: President Ghani’s new set of peace proposals

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 4 December 2018

President Ashraf Ghani updated peace plan, presented at the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan on 28 November, the 13th international Afghanistan conference since 2001, built on the February 2018 Kabul Process proposals. Ghani foresees a five-phase approach to consultations and five years of implementation. At the same time, these proposals represent an attempt to reassert the Afghan government’s role in a peace process that has barely commenced, not least due to the Taleban’s refusal to negotiate with Kabul, and when the process remains dominated by the US agenda. AAN’s co-director, Thomas Ruttig, analyses the document, while also considering the Taleban’s most recent statement at the Afghanistan conference in Moscow (with input by Jelena Bjelica from Geneva).

Getting to the Steering Wheel: President Ghani’s new set of peace proposals

2. The Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan: An agenda for peace and development?

Author: AAN Team
Date: 25 November 2018

The Afghan Government and United Nations will co-host the Geneva ministerial conference on 28 November 2018. This is the 13th high-level international conference on Afghanistan since 2001. The focus of the conference will be peace efforts and development, but it will also be an opportunity to assess the Afghan government’s reform efforts and reconfirm commitments made by donors to Afghanistan at the Brussels conference in 2016. Ahead of the conference, the AAN team answers some key questions regarding what will and will not be discussed at the event.

The Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan: An agenda for peace and development?

3. The Release of Mullah Baradar: A contribution to the peace effort?

Author: Kate Clark
Date: 28 October 2018

The Taleban have confirmed to various media that Pakistan has released the most senior member of their movement in detention, Mullah Abdul Ghani, better known as Mullah Baradar (brother). He was arrested in 2010 and held ever since, apparently incommunicado and without charge or trial. Baradar was a founding member of the Taleban and a noted battlefield commander. At the time of his arrest, he was the effective number two in the movement and the de facto operational chief of the insurgency. News of Baradar’s release has been reported before, but this time is looking certain. There is talk that he has been freed in order to help in ‘the peace process’ and, even after eight years in incarceration, AAN Co-Director Kate Clark says, he may have much to offer.

The Release of Mullah Baradar: A contribution to the peace effort?

4. “The Eid ceasefire helped our efforts well”: Helmand peace marchers keep up the pressure

Author: Ali Mohammad Sabawoon and Thomas Ruttig
Date: 2 August 2018

Although the Eid ceasefires have been and gone, they have rekindled hopes across Afghanistan that peace is possible. Helmand’s peace movement is keeping up the pressure. It has staged sit-ins in front of embassies in Kabul and sent letters to countries participating in or supporting the war effort. The movement has also reached other parts of the country. Its members claim that the Taleban have softened their approach towards them. AAN’s Ali Mohammad Sabawoon and Thomas Ruttig (with input from Emilie Cavendish) have been looking at the peace marchers’ latest activities, as well as their strategy.

“The Eid ceasefire helped our efforts well”: Helmand peace marchers keep up the pressure

 

5. The Eid Ceasefire: What did (some of the) people think?

Author: AAN Team
Date: 29 June 2018

Coverage of the Eid ceasefire mainly focussed on the most spectacular consequence, the mass fraternisation between combatants. AAN researchers wanted to try to understand what civilians thought about the truce and what sort of Eid holiday they had enjoyed – or not. We interviewed ten Afghans, four women and six men, to try to find out. We heard from those who had visited their home villages for the first time in years or who were still too frightened to travel, and those who, witnessing the scenes of Taleban in cities and ANSF and Taleban hugging each other were, variously, bewildered, frightened, joyful, hopeful and sceptical. The interviews were carried out by Ali Mohammad Sabawoon, Ehsan Qaane, Ali Yawar Adili and Rohullah Sorush and edited by Kate Clark.

The Eid Ceasefire: What did (some of the) people think?

6. Understanding Hurdles to Afghan Peace Talks: Are the Taleban a political party?

Author: Khalilullah Safi and Thomas Ruttig
Date: 27 June 2018

Following his February 2018 offer of peace talks to the Taleban, President Ashraf Ghani proposed that they run as a political party in the upcoming elections. In 2011, his predecessor, Hamed Karzai, had offered something different, that the government would support the Taleban’s recognition by the United Nations Security Council as a “party to the conflict.” The Taleban understood this would give them a place at peace talks. The proposal never came to fruition because of the assassination of High Peace Council chairman Ustad Borhanuddin Rabbani and the death of Taleban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar. However, AAN guest author Khalilullah Safi* and AAN’s Thomas Ruttig argue that, for the Taleban, the difference between being seen as a political party or a party to the conflict is crucial – and therefore also crucial for any attempt to find peace through negotiations.

Understanding Hurdles to Afghan Peace Talks: Are the Taleban a political party?

7. The Eid Ceasefire: Allowing Afghans to imagine their country at peace

Author: Kate Clark
Date: 19 June 2018

Ceasefires by the government, the Taleban and the United States over the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr has partially ended with the Taleban ordering their fighters back to “normal operations.” However, the three-day truce resulted in an unprecedented peaceful movement of fighters and soldiers into territories controlled by the other. The media was full of pictures and videos of Afghans in uniform or wearing black turbans fraternising with each other and with civilians. The Taleban rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s call to join government forces in extending the ceasefire, and some Taleban attacks were reported on 18 June, the day after their ceasefire ended. Nevertheless, says AAN Co-Director Kate Clark, the genie may be out of the bottle. It may now be more difficult for those who have just celebrated Eid together to return to killing (with input from Thomas Ruttig, Ehsan Qaane, Rohullah Sorush, Ali Yawar Adli and Ali Mohammad Sabawoon).

The Eid Ceasefire: Allowing Afghans to imagine their country at peace

8. Peace (hopefully) for a few days: A ceasefire for Eid as Helmand marchers approach Kabul

Author: Ali Mohammad Sabawoon
Date: 11 June 2018

Afghans may, just possibly, have a happier Eid than in previous years. The government, the Taleban and the United States military have all called temporary ceasefires. Meanwhile, seven marchers for peace, who set off from Helmand on 13 May have been walking towards Kabul in temperatures of more than 40 degrees while keeping the Ramadan fast. Their demand for a ceasefire during Ramadan was not met, but as AAN’s Ali Mohammad Sabawoon reports (with input from Kate Clark), their arrival in Kabul will coincide with the Eid ceasefire.

Peace (hopefully) for a few days: A ceasefire for Eid as Helmand marchers approach Kabul

9. Going Nationwide: The Helmand peace march initiative

Author: Ali Mohammad Sabawoon
Date: 23 April 2018

Protests in Helmand calling for a ceasefire and talks between insurgents and government are about to enter their second month. The pro-peace demonstrations which began in what are often described as the Taleban’s ‘southern heartlands’, have been spreading: they can now be found in half of Afghanistan’s provinces and for now, at least, they are transcending tribal and ethnic divides. As AAN’s Ali Mohammad Sabawoon reports (with input from Thomas Ruttig), both Taleban and government appear to have been wrong-footed by the protesters, unsure how to respond.

Going Nationwide: The Helmand peace march initiative

10. Who shall cease the fire first? Afghanistan’s peace offer to the Taleban

Author: Thomas Ruttig and Jelena Bjelica
Date: 1 March 2018

The second meeting of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation that was held in the Afghan capital on 28 February 2018 marked a change in the peace rhetoric. The Afghan government presented some very concrete proposals for peace talks with the Taleban. It came with a few conditions (not called as such) – mainly that women’s rights and the basic values of the constitution are not up for negotiation. The offer includes, for the first time, a mention of a ceasefire, an office in Kabul for the Taleban and the lifting of sanctions on those Taleban leaders who would join the negotiation. What is not clear is the sequence and over what time period all this would come together. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig and Jelena Bjelica (with input from Sari Kouvo) conclude that the ball now seems to be in the Taleban’s court, as they summarise and analyse the key messages coming from the second meeting of the Kabul Process.

Who shall cease the fire first? Afghanistan’s peace offer to the Taleban

11. The Road to Turkestan or: More Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan. Manifesto No 2

Author: Thomas Ruttig
Date: 28 February 2018

Author’s Note: The title and the theme of this set of theses refer to Barnett Rubin’s “Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan: A Manifesto” published in War on the Rocks on 23 February 2018 (read here). But these theses will mainly scrutinise Afghanistan’s internal institutional crisis that needs to be addressed in order to improve the conditions for successful peace talks that do not result in a roll-back of post-2001 achievements particularly when it comes to rights and freedoms.

The Road to Turkestan or: More Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan. Manifesto No 2

Read on about developments up to January 2018 in our second dossier.

Thematic Dossier XVII: Peace Talks (2)

Date: 1 March 2018

In the light of Kabul Process meeting that brought together 23 countries, the UN, the NATO and the EU to the Afghan capital to discuss peace in Afghanistan on 28 February 2018, AAN prepared a new thematic dossier, which brings together in one place all of its relevant reporting on peace efforts in Afghanistan from 2010 until now.

Thematic Dossier XVII: Peace Talks (2)

Read on about developments up to August 2015 in our first “Peace Talks and Reconciliation” dossier.

Thematic Dossier X: Peace talks and reconciliation

Date: 4 August 2015

The flurry of recent ‘peace-related’ events – talks about talks, actual talks, denials of talks, re-definitions of peace, attacks and key figures dying – has compelled AAN to take another look at the whole body of our work on the subject. This “Peace Talks and Reconciliation Thematic Dossier” brings you all related AAN analyses in one place and provides a much needed historical perspective on current goings-on.

Thematic Dossier X: Peace talks and reconciliation

 

 

 

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