US-Taliban peace deal will empower ISIS in Afghanistan, say insiders

ISIS Islamic State AfghanistanAn imminent peace agreement between the United States government and the Taliban will inadvertently empower the Islamic State in Afghanistan, according to a number of insiders, who warn that the soon-to-be-announced deal may have grave unintended consequences for the war-ravaged country.

After nearly two decades or war, the United States is close to concluding a peace agreement with the Taliban, the Pashtun-based Sunni group that has waged an Islamist insurgency against the American-supported government of Afghanistan since 2001. The two sides have said that they will be signing a peace settlement on February 29, providing that an ongoing agreement for a week-long reduction in armed violence holds. If the current reduction in violence continues unabated, the United States has agreed to remove most of its troops from the country, while the Taliban have agreed to initiate peace negotiations with the Afghan government.

But a team of journalists with the American television program Frontline, who are working on the ground in Afghanistan, report that the impending peace deal may bear unintended consequences. They report that numerous sources in Afghanistan are warning that the peace deal will result in an increase in membership for the Islamic State forces in the country. This will happen, they say, because Taliban fighters who object to a peace treaty with Washington will abandon the Taliban and join the Islamic State. Some Frontline sources claim that the majority of the Taliban’s foot soldiers are preparing to join the Islamic State if a deal is struck between Washington and the Taliban.

The Frontline team quotes one Islamic State commander in Afghanistan, who claims that the peace deal will “make the caliphate rise”, as “Taliban fighters have promised to join us”. The United States is trying to pre-empt this expected trend, according to reports. The Pentagon expects that, as soon as the peace treaty with the Taliban is signed, it will need to redirect its remaining troops in the country to focus their attention to the forces of the Islamic State.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 27 February 2020 | Permalink

2 Responses to US-Taliban peace deal will empower ISIS in Afghanistan, say insiders

  1. Anonymous says:

    The chances that the “peace deal” has involved US “State Department” money to the Taliban, so Trump can claim “I negotiated peace in Afghanistan” pre-US November Presidential Election…are rather high.

    After the election all sides probably recognize it will be Taliban vs US shooting-war business as usual.

  2. Pete says:

    Even the Anonymous commenter above, who suspected the US-Taliban “peace deal” would evaporate after the US November 2020 Presidential Election, would be surprised at the speed the deal has been broken.

    A senior US Army spokesman indicated https://twitter.com/USFOR_A/status/1235116513629057025

    “The US conducted an airstrike on March 4 [2020] against Taliban fighters in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand, who were actively attacking an [Afghan Army] checkpoint. This was a defensive strike to disrupt the [Taliban] attack.”

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