America’s diplomatic clock on Afghanistan seems to be turning a full circle. Nearly two decades after the United States stitched up a multi-nation coalition to throw out the Taliban in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, the Donald Trump administration is making frantic efforts to bring the terrorist outfit to the negotiating table. His aim: to put up a framework for peace in the war-ravaged country that would enable him to pull out US troops.
But there is widespread fear that the US is conceding too much space to the Taliban, so that they are in a commanding position to shape Afghanistan’s future. The urgency on Washington’s part stems from Trump’s electoral promise of bringing US troops home by ending America’s longest war—a boost to his leadership credentials before he prepares to seek a second term in 2020.