The Atlantic

A Jabberwocky Peace in Afghanistan

Washington should push for a genuine political solution in the region, even if it complicates the American departure.
Source: James Mackenzie / Reuters

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, announced a draft framework for a deal with the Taliban that could finally close the book on America’s longest war. As Khalilzad explained: “The Taliban have committed, to our satisfaction, to do what is necessary that would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals.”

Peace could be closer than at any time since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. For a decade after that, Washington essentially refused to negotiate with the insurgents. In 2010, the U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke proposed political reconciliation, but General David Petraeus . “Richard, that’s a 15-second conversation. Yes, eventually. But no. Not now.” Even when talks tentatively began, they produced little fruit except for the trade, in 2014, of the American

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