A Gamble

So the USA and the Taliban have finally, after years of a long drawn-out guerrilla war, decided to come around the round table and talk peace under the white flag. This comes as a major breakthrough for both but it remains to be seen whether it will have any positive effect whatsoever on Afghanistan and the the world as a whole.

A major factor to be taken into account while analyzing this new development is the withdrawal of American forces in the post 2014 scenario. With this withdrawal, the stage will be set for a major showdown between the Afghanistani Government and the Taliban. Events in Afghanistan will definitely be grabbing eyeballs for many years in the future.

It's important to note that both the Taliban and the USA are ready for a longer fight and it's just because of the USA's new foreign policy dictated by Mr. Barack Obama that the USA is withdrawing. The catch is that the Afghanistani military, which replaces the USA is hardly fighting fit. The Taliban obviously won't sit silent while a weak military takes over.

We'll go back to the 2014 scenario later. Coming back to the peace talks, they are unlikely to be even a tiny bit successful. The USA and the Taliban represent two extremes of a political ideology and the Afghanistani society with the USA representing democracy, secularism and all the Western ideals like equal rights to all the Taliban represents the exact opposite - authoritarianism, Islamism and gender and minority discrimination. The gap between them is so vast that bridging it will be near impossible.

Even if we push it, what we can expect at the most would be a short-lived ceasefire. This would serve the purpose of helping the Taliban regroup and reorganize. Without any pressure by the US military on them, they could also strengthen themselves organizationally and reconcile the various warring factions which from it. This would make them stronger than ever for the 2014 showdown with the Afghanistani military.
What's almost as worrying is that these peace talks don't really have the support of the Afghanistani Government with Hamid Karzai frowning upon them. If this leads to cracks in the US-Afghanistan alliance, only the Taliban will stand to gain.

These peace talks also are an opportunity for USA's detractors to taunt it for hypocrisy;  after all USA has constantly been maintaining that it's wont negotiate with terrorist groups. Besides, it's also raising worries among many sections of the public that the USA is beginning to covertly backing the Taliban in Afghanistan on the condition that it stop supporting Al-Qaeda and it's affiliated terrorist groups.

There don't seem to be many positive implications for the USA. They seem to be serving the purpose only of the Taliban. I, personally disagree with this new policy of Mr. Barack Obama. I would prefer that the USA backout from these peace back. But then my opinion is just that of a normal citizen. If the USA has reason to believe that the Taliban might agree to some agreement or that it might improve the post- 2014 scenario, then do go ahead!

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