Washington’s experts nearly all agree that the U.S. should seek a political, not a military, solution to the war in Afghanistan. As the Trump administration revamps its strategy after months of wrangling, this would mean a negotiated settlement with the Taliban is the only way out.

Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom in Washington is wrong. Such ideas not only embolden the Taliban and its patrons, but also undercuts the Afghan war effort and insults America’s sacrifices in Afghanistan.

The Taliban is unlikely to sue for peace, nor has it publicly sought a negotiated deal. The group’s aim is to take over Afghanistan’s political system and fundamentally change it. Past peace efforts have been fruitless, either from bad faith, miscalculation or bad timing.

Read the full piece at the Wall Street Journal.


Javid Ahmad is a non-resident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point and at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.

The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Point, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or any agency of the US government.