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President Trump rejects negotiations with the Taliban

31 January 2018

These major events will further aggravate regional disputes in Afghanistan's surroundings, particularly with Pakistan. The two sides also discussed the importance of holding "timely, credible, and inclusive elections", according to a US State Department announcement.

Is someone using Afghanistan and terrorism in the Indian subcontinent like it was used in Iraq and Syria? They're located along the Pakistan border in the hundreds, not the thousands like the Taliban.

Diaa Hadid, reporting from Islamabad, tells Morning Edition that one theory making the rounds in Afghanistan is that the spate of recent attacks has been triggered by competition between ISIS and the Taliban. It is also intended at sending the message to the USA that Pakistan needs to always be a major player in Afghanistan.

But it seems that the happy days have come to an end. And the president's reaction to the violence created confusion over his administration's policy.

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I do not want to jump to conclusions amid the absence of proven facts and accuse Iran of being a key player there, but there's plenty of evidence indicating just that.

The challenges inside Afghanistan are many.

Both the Taliban and IS have stepped up attacks in recent weeks, in what analysts say is a campaign of violence meant to undermine the US -backed government.

"There are many ethnic issues among the factors contributing to instability in Afghanistan", explains Sartaj Aziz, the former adviser to prime minister on foreign affairs and former national security adviser.

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Pointing to possible collaboration between the Taliban and Daesh militants in Afghanistan, he noted, "They (The Taliban) are not necessarily flawless allies with ISIS, but there is certainly room inside the outlined areas of Afghanistan for more than one terrorist group to operate and I think the ISIS fighters look at it as sort of a safe haven". Islamabad denies the accusations.

We knew that Qatar's attempts to contain the Taliban will fail because Doha's method in managing relations with extremist groups, like "Hezbollah" in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and even al-Nusra Front in Syria, is always based on buying temporary political positions with huge sums of money. The changes reflect, in a way, U.S. President Donald Trump's preference for secrecy over transparency and serve to mask a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. Its followers have clashed with both Afghan forces and the Taliban. It opened an office for the Taliban in Doha and flooded it with money so it can be a mediator between the organization and Washington.

That's despite a clear recent increase in USA and Coalition air strikes - although the total number of strikes was classified for the first time this quarter, according to the report.

It's only natural that political negotiations later ended in failure. Afghanistan responded by saying that the Taliban would have to be defeated on the battlefield. "Pakistan needs to be part of the solution", Sullivan noted.

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President Trump rejects negotiations with the Taliban