NATO says an increase in Taliban attacks threatens to derail talks on the peace process in Afghanistan, whose terms have just been defined.
Wednesday’s statement from the alliance comes after an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban for a framework for peace talks in Qatar was reached last week.
Last month, the Pentagon’s Sigar (Special Inspector General for Reconstruction of Afghanistan) warned of a 50% increase in violence from Taliban violence within three months and accused the group of targeting the journalists.
Radio Free Europe has reported that the Taliban are carrying out targeted assassinations and assassinations and organizing massive attacks against Afghan government military targets. The outlet reported that the aim was to gain influence in the peace talks.
Amid heightened violence, NATO has said it hopes the Doha negotiations will lead to a “lasting and comprehensive” Afghan peace deal aimed at ending nearly two decades of war.
He hailed the agreement reached by Kabul and the Taliban and the first meeting of the steering committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation as “important steps towards a comprehensive and lasting peace in Afghanistan”.
NATO added that a negotiated political settlement is the “only hope for a lasting peace”, but said that “the violence, especially provoked by the Taliban attacks, continues to undermine the peace process and must stop “.
Under an agreement reached in Doha in February, foreign forces were to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban. But in November, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced that the number of US troops would be reduced to 2,500 by January, which was welcomed by the Taliban.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned that NATO must not withdraw its troops from the country too soon for fear of jeopardizing the peace talks. Critics fear that the insurgents are biding their time for the exit of American troops and want to take the entire country by force.
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, told a virtual conference last month that there was a standoff between the Taliban and government forces in Kabul. He also admitted that the United States had had “minimal success” in nearly 20 years trying to establish a stable democracy in Afghanistan, Military.com reported.
The graph below provided by Statista shows the expenditures of the US military involvement in Afghanistan during this century.