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Delegates gather at a four-day assembly to discuss opening up peace talks Taliban Delegates gather at a four-day assembly meeting to discuss opening up peace talks with the Taliban, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 3, 2019 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).

Don’t Leave the Afghan People Out of Peace Talks

Friday, Sept. 13, 2019

Although President Donald Trump declared talks with the Taliban “dead” this week, the reality is that even as calls for a settlement in Afghanistan gained momentum, negotiations for a deal to end America’s longest war were bound to falter. Trump’s clumsy attempt to grab the spotlight by arranging for a last-minute summit at Camp David between the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11 rightly rankled both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

But the White House obsession with striking a grand bargain in Afghanistan in time for the next U.S. presidential election is sheer folly—and it predates Trump and his diplomacy by tweet. War runs on no one’s timeline, and history proves that peace often returns in fits and starts. ...

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