The Government of Afghanistan on June 7 offered a unilateral, week-long cease-fire to the Taliban beginning June 12, in observance of the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Of course, a cease-fire is not a peace agreement, but it can lead to one.

U.S. Marines with Task Force Southwest man a rooftop at 2nd Brigade, Afghan National Army 215th Corps’ headquarters on Camp Nolay, Afghanistan, April 24, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sean J. Berry)
U.S. Marines with Task Force Southwest man a rooftop at 2nd Brigade, Afghan National Army 215th Corps’ headquarters on Camp Nolay, Afghanistan, April 24, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sean J. Berry)

A successful cease-fire is first a humanitarian win because lives are saved during the lull in fighting. For this cease-fire — the first major cease-fire since the war began in 2001 — to become a political win, the parties should develop next steps on a path to negotiate their grievances rather than fight each other.

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