At first blush, the breakup of the Taliban may seem like a success story of the War in Afghanistan.
In reality, it’s a headache that has led to assassinations, killings, and a breakdown of the peace talks that are Afghanistan’s only hopes for peace.
The radical cells are killing Taliban members for even talking with the U.S.
Kathy Gannon at the Associated Press reports how the splintering of the Taliban remnant means that the United States and allies are forced to deal with multiple forces, each with a different plan for post-war Afghanistan.
Trying to talk the Taliban into working with the Afghan government is already hard. Convincing the splintered hard-liners is nearly impossible.
Many of these groups are categorically against negotiation, and some of them have taken to assassination attempts and brazen killings aimed at officials involved in peace talks.
This isn’t good for the United States.
As of right now, both a senior member of the Afghan government’s peace council as well as a high ranking Taliban leader who sat down with the U.S. have been killed by splinter groups.
The groups are more than comfortable trying to kill “collaborators.”
Even more, Agha Jan Motasim — a powerful member of the Taliban interested in a peaceful end to the war — is in a Turkish hospital recovering from an assassination attempt and contending with death threats if he talks to the media.
Gannon’s article identifies three splinter groups — The Feday-e-Mahaz, The Dadullah Front, and the Jihadi Shura of Mujaheddin for Unity and Understanding — who may have a role in the attacks, as each are vehemently opposed to peace talks of any kind.
Ideally, the U.S. wants the Taliban to get involved with the country by joining the government. But these splinter groups mean that Afghanistan could be in for even more upheaval as the United States exits.
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