Episode
November 27, 2018

What will it take to break Afghanistan's stalemate?

World powers consider ways to engage politically with the Taliban as bloody attacks blight the lives of millions.
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On Tuesday, 27 November at 19:30 GMT:

A series of recent deadly attacks in Afghanistan has highlighted the difficulty in ending a war now grinding into its 18th year.

Indiscriminate assaults by the Taliban and fighters from the Khorasan Province branch of ISIL have left millions of Afghans fearing for their lives each and every day. At least 20 police officers were killed in a Taliban ambush in Farah province on Sunday, just days after dozens of people were killed in a suicide bomb blast that targeted a gathering of religious figures in the capital Kabul.

In recent years both the United States and Nato have pulled their forces away from direct combat, instead focusing on providing advice and assistance to Afghan security forces. Yet the Taliban remains a powerful adversary and now targets areas where they previously had little influence or power. A co-ordinated Taliban assault on the capital of Ghazni province in August shocked military observers, while thousands of people in the previously-peaceful Shia Hazara regions in the provinces of Ghazni and Uruzgan have recently faced bloody onslaughts.

Meanwhile, a drought affecting swaths of western Afghanistan has only compounded people’s misery; nearly 3.9 million people need emergency assistance to deal with the effects of the prolonged dry spell, while nearly 250,000 people have been displaced.

With the ongoing war effectively in a stalemate, both the US and Russia have held separate talks with the Taliban in an effort to start a peace process. Yet the Taliban is still reticent to deal directly with the government in Kabul, despite the administration’s offer to hold face-to-face talks without preconditions.

Our panel will consider what it will take to end Afghanistan’s war of attrition as major world powers crack open their doors to the Taliban. Join the conversation.
 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Waliullah Rahmani, @rahmani9910
Media-tech entrepreneur
reporterly.net 
 

Zakia Wardak, @ZakiaWardak
Parliament candidate, architect & entrepreneur
 

Ali Latifi, @alibomaye
Freelance journalist
 

Shereena Qazi, @ShereenaQazi
Online journalist, Al Jazeera English
aljazeera.com


Read more:
Moscow shows it’s back in the ‘Great Game’ by hosting Taliban-Afghan peace talks - Washington Post
Afghanistan considers delaying presidential election - New York Times

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