The US and Nato are more earnestly than ever trying to speed up peace talks between them, the Afghan and Pakistani governments and the Taliban. But they will falter again, just as they have done in the past until the US is prepared to make a radical break with the past format of negotiations and understand the importance of mediation.
But what we have seen in the on and off talks between the US and the Taliban is essentially that Washington acts as both the most powerful party in the conflict and as a mediator. The result has been that Kabul, Islamabad, the Taliban and others have put demands on the table which they expect the US to reply to as the lead party, but they also expect America to mediate each others’ demands so that both sides can reach a compromise and move forward. Continue reading »