Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, February 15th, 2019

Afghan Peace Process: Multiple Players with Conflicting Agendas

Peace building is a process of strengthening a society’s capacity to manage conflict in non-violent ways. However, conflict is natural in society and can lead to positive change. On the other hand if conflict is not well managed, it can also descend into violence.
As the experience of the conflict prone countries, especially the developing countries show peace building needs to enhance trust between individuals and between groups in a society. Further, it needs to restore the legitimacy of state institutions. Peace building is about bringing together the different actors that are engaged in the rebuilding of a country. The role of the people from inside and outside a conflict-affected country is vital in peace building. Thus, they need to work together to understand their different views, and define priorities. Such an approach enables a better alignment of national policy-making, external assistance, and local priorities.
It is crystal cut that peace building is about deep, long-term transformations. This requires an integrated approach engaging a diverse range of actors to ensure a sustainable peace. To end the war in Afghanistan, the US and Afghan government must adopt the same policies.
According to war strategists, what always goes against the US is its preoccupation with war. Washington fights multiple wars at the same time. These Wars have drained the US human capital and resources. As a result, the US has wasted too much blood and treasure since the end of the Cold War. It is also an unrealistic desire to keep its hegemony intact forever even at the costs of the other nations.
Therefore, it seems that the US has changed its South Asia policy in Afghanistan, and has decided to defend its interests in some ways, such as- the use of diplomacy, negotiation, mediation, and politics instead of war in Afghanistan.
Based on this policy shift, it has started direct peace negotiations with Taliban that once the US attacked them because they supported the terrorist groups that threatened its national interests from Afghanistan.
Based on this, the US started direct talks with Taliban led by the US Special Envoy to Kabul and in the last round of talks in Doha which lasted 6 days, led to a framework for a peace including a commitment by the Taliban not to allow terrorists to use Afghan territory to mount attacks on the US and allies; an agreement by the US to pull out troops, but contingent on what remains a stumbling block of Taliban agreement to talk with the Afghan government, and a permanent ceasefire.
Russia Afghan Peace Talks
Following direct talks between the US and Taliban, considering the complicated geopolitics of Afghanistan, Russia initiated an Afghan intra peace talks aimed at catalyzing an end to a 17-year war and burnishing Moscow’s credentials as a regional power broker.
However, the meeting appeared to yield no significant breakthroughs, although participants agreed to gather again at an undetermined date. Though, the participation of the Taliban marked the Islamist movement’s first official visit to the Russian capital and its highest-profile diplomatic foray in years. Many hold that Taliban has been the main winner of this round of intra Afghan talks in the absence of the Afghan government and it just added to their legitimacy.
If the US has symbolically lost the war in Afghanistan, then it is needless to become more aggressive in an attempt to defeat whosoever comes in its way to safeguard its image and prove its hegemony. The best course of action lies in contributing to the Afghan peace without resorting to war.
The US assumes that Peace in Afghanistan cannot be established through war. Afghanistan history tells us that there is no military solution to the problem. And peacemaking is only possible through negotiations and dialogue. Thus, military action will exacerbate the situation in Afghanistan, pushing the country again into the vortex of violence. However, the US must not seek a rushed peace deal with Taliban, and shall consider the concerns of all walks of Afghan citizens to ensure a viable peace.