Stories by Laurel Miller

Expert Voices

U.S.–Taliban talks a needed first step toward peace in Afghanistan

Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Reports of a tentative understanding between U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Qatar last week sparked strong, disparate reactions. Some say the U.S. is negotiating its surrender in Afghanistan and selling out its Afghan allies, while others see the first steps toward ending the world’s deadliest conflict.

Reality check: To stop the fighting, the U.S. and the Taliban must hold formal talks; to bring stable peace to Afghanistan, the Taliban and Afghan power-players opposing them must do so as well. That the former has happened first doesn’t inherently constitute a betrayal.