Why the Afghan Government does not have a Seat at the Table in the America-Taliban Peace Talks

Participants attend the opening of the two-day talks of the Taliban and Afghan opposition representatives at the President Hotel in Moscow on February 5, 2019. GETTY image, published by heavy.com

The obvious reason is that the participation of the Government of Afghanistan is counterproductive and will lead to the failure of talks before they even start. Taliban do not recognize the Government and the Government does not accept Taliban’s legitimacy as an Afghan party.

Ending the war is an American urgency because American men and material are expended. The Afghan Government does not have this urgency, or, if it does, it sees its protection and survival as an exclusive American responsibility. In other words, the Government of Afghanistan does not feel responsible for prolonging the war. It shifts the responsibility and blame to the United States and the Taliban.

But there are other unstated reasons for excluding the Afghan Government. Washington has not articulated these additional reasons but logic dictates that American policymakers in the US government and military must have pondered them before deciding to talk directly to Taliban and exclude Kabul from direct participation in the early stages of the peace process.

Some of these reasons could include:

Originally published at www.quora.com.

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Journalist with an eye for stories hiding in the grey area between national security, changing societies, and human rights in the MENA region.

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Ahmed Quraishi

Journalist with an eye for stories hiding in the grey area between national security, changing societies, and human rights in the MENA region.