International Crisis Group, 11 August 2020
An important primer for the upcoming intra-Afghan peace negotiations. From the executive summary:
As peace talks in Afghanistan unfold, the Taliban’s positions on a number of critical topics to be discussed with the Afghan government remain ambiguous or undefined. (…) It is vital for the talks’ eventual success that the insurgency determine a coherent political vision, accept an open debate in Afghan society of its positions and demonstrate a willingness to compromise at the negotiating table. (…)
The report also says: “The Taliban have historically avoided the internal debate and risk to cohesion that would come with forging consensus on difficult questions of governance and ideology.” But we cannot be too sure whether or not there are internal debates and how they play out. The report also speaks about the Taliban’s “political wing” promising “global audiences that a future Afghan state in which the Taliban play a leading role will be a responsible member of the international system. Yet, internally, the group has left many questions unanswered or permitted maximalist positions to flourish.” The political commission’s rhetoric might replicate what is happening elsewhere in the Afghan political scene: That one entity is sending different messages to different audiences.
This article was last updated on 11 Aug 2020