The Taliban is expected to take control of Afghanistan within weeks or even days. This would be the most important political development of 2021
Two weeks ago, there was still a belief that the Taliban might take months to take control of Afghanistan and that they might even agree to a peace deal, perhaps viewing one as a useful step on their way to power.
That has now changed dramatically. Last week, the US called a desperate, last-ditch meeting with Taliban negotiators in Doha, the Qatari capital, involving countries in the region, as well as Russia and China. The aim was to convince the Taliban that they would be treated as a pariah state if they seized power by force. In parallel, the Afghan government offered a share of power in return for a ceasefire. Negotiations have since ended with both endeavours failing. Continue reading