America’s duplicitous behavior is the main factor for continued war in Afghanistan. On the one hand, the US insists on the use of force for the settlement of Afghan conflict. On the other hand, it doesn’t take any action against the militants fighting Afghan government that can obliterate them. Nor it really turns up the heat on Pakistan’s spy agency to preclude its support to Taliban and other terrorist groups. Similarly, whenever any initiatives aimed at peacefully bringing Afghan conflict to an end begin to inch towards realization, the United States derail them.
It is the third time in recent years that peace talks are nipped in the bud. The first direct peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban were held on July 7, 2015 in Murree near Islamabad. However, the news of the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Omar’s death was leaked apparently at America’s behest just a day before the second face-to-face meeting. The second time, Akhtar Mohammad Mansur, the Taliban’s new leader who was said to be trying to take the Taliban out of Pakistan’ control and influence, was killed in a US drone strike in Baluchistan. And this time, US President Donald Trump rejected any peace talks with the Taliban in the aftermath of a string of deadly attacks in Kabul, stressing that the United States will not talk to people who are killing their own fellow citizens. The new US stand comes as a delegation from Taliban’s political office in Qatar recently visited Islamabad, and political developments show that Indonesia is trying to mediate peace talks between Afghan government and the Taliban. Peace talks ranked high on agenda of Indonesian president’s visit to Kabul.
The US intentionally creates a climate where Afghans conclude and admit that war with the Taliban is not a bad option. Such behavior by the United States is intolerable. The Afghan government caught between a rock and a hard place should ask the US for explanation about the political settlement of the conflict. On one side, the US is closing door on Afghan peace process, but on the other side it has restricted its actions against the supporters of Taliban, who have brought Afghan government to the brink of collapse, to only sanctions and aid freeze -- something which has never proved fruitful.