President Ghani’s announcement at last week’s Kabul Process Conference of a peace offer to the Taliban was a potential watershed in the Afghan peace process, and arguably the most forward-leaning plan for peace with the Taliban the Afghan government has ever put forward. In recent weeks, the Taliban also made unusually specific public offers of peace talks with the United States though the offers continued to exclude the Afghan government. These developments may offer glimmers of hope after years of frustrated efforts to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.

Ambassador Alice Wells, the Senior Bureau Official in the Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, leads the Afghan peace effort for the U.S. government and has freshly returned from Afghanistan, where she attended the Kabul Process Conference. At the U.S. Institute of Peace Ambassador Wells spoke on the significance of these events, the U.S. government’s potential response, and the outlook for Afghan peace going forward.

Review the conversation on Twitter with #AfghanPeace.

Amb. Alice Wells
Senior Bureau Official, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs,
U.S. Department of State

Andrew Wilder, Moderator
Vice President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

U.S.-Taliban Deal is a “Massive Opportunity,” Says U.S. Negotiator

U.S.-Taliban Deal is a “Massive Opportunity,” Says U.S. Negotiator

Thursday, February 20, 2020

By: Adam Gallagher

After a year and a half of negotiations, the U.S. and Taliban have reached an interim agreement to reduce violence for a period of seven days. If that agreement holds, the two sides will formalize a pact that would lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a phased U.S. troop withdrawal. Although the reduction in violence is an important achievement, it is but one step on a long, rocky road to peace, noted current and former senior U.S. officials on February 18 at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

The Latest on U.S.-Taliban Talks: 3 Things You Need to Know

The Latest on U.S.-Taliban Talks: 3 Things You Need to Know

Thursday, February 20, 2020

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Barmak Pazhwak; Scott Smith

The U.S. and Taliban have reportedly agreed to a deal to reduce violence, which could ultimately lead to an end to the war in Afghanistan. USIP’s Afghanistan experts explain how the deal could be an important step to sustainable peace, what subsequent intra-Afghan negotiations would focus on and what the agreement means for Afghan women.

Type: Blog

Peace Processes

Scott Worden on Afghan Elections and the Peace Process

Scott Worden on Afghan Elections and the Peace Process

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By: Scott Worden

Amid news of an interim U.S.-Taliban deal, Afghanistan’s election commission announced President Ashraf Ghani has won reelection—a result his opponent has openly rejected. USIP’s Scott Worden warns this kind of political infighting weakens the government’s negotiating position ahead of possible intra-Afghan talks, saying “the Taliban profit from political chaos.”

Type: Podcast

Peace Processes

U.S.-Taliban Deal: The Beginning of the End of America’s Longest War?

U.S.-Taliban Deal: The Beginning of the End of America’s Longest War?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By: Scott Smith

American officials announced on Friday that the United States and the Taliban agreed to a seven-day “reduction of violence” that, if adhered to, would be followed by a signed agreement. The deal would pave the way for intra-Afghan talks and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops. USIP’s Scott Smith examines the U.S.-Taliban deal and what comes next.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

View All Publications