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Is Peace with the Taliban Possible?

US President Donald Trump desperately wants to disentangle America from a seemingly unwinnable war in Afghanistan, preferably through a political settlement with the Taliban. But it is doubtful that the Taliban would be able to control other armed opposition groups or enlist the support of a cross-section of Afghanistan’s diverse population.

CANBERRA – Despite ongoing peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban, the bloody conflict in Afghanistan continues to take a heavy toll on the country’s people. The recent suicide bombing by the Khorasan branch of the Islamic State (IS-K) at a wedding in Kabul, which killed more than 60 and injured close to 200, is a stark reminder of Afghanistan’s poor security situation. It also shows that the Taliban are not the only armed opposition fueling the conflict. A US-Taliban peace pact is therefore unlikely to bring any respite.