The government of Afghanistan announced yesterday that it has entered into a unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban. Gen. John Nicholson, who oversees the US-led war effort, claimed it was a “bold initiative for peace.” But the thinking behind the ceasefire is confused.
A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives in the Afghan capital this morning. The bombing was carried out near the German Embassy. At least 80 people were killed, according to initial casualty reports.
An American soldier was killed while fighting the Islamic State’s jihadists in eastern Afghanistan. While the Wilayah Khorasan (or Khorasan province) has suffered significant losses since early 2016, it still maintains a significant operational capacity and can mount high-profile attacks.
Russia is openly advocating on behalf of the Taliban, arguing that the jihadist group should be considered a bulwark against the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan. But the Taliban is a bigger threat to Afghan security than Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men, the organization remains closely allied with al Qaeda and its own extremism should not be downplayed.
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