Talks continued in Doha and on September 2, 2019, after nine rounds, Khalilzad told reporters that an agreement had been reached “in principle” between the United States and the Taliban. But three days later, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed a U.S. service provider and 11 others. Trump responded by indefinitely canceling peace talks. “What kind of people would kill so many people to apparently strengthen their negotiating position?” he wrote on Twitter. “They didn`t, they just made things worse! … How many decades are they ready to fight? Another problem is that the recent Afghan presidential elections were contested and led to a divided and dysfunctional government in Kabul. As two opponents declare themselves the winners, no one is responsible in Kabul anymore. Since the next step in the peace agreement is to hold talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, a divided and broken government in Kabul complicates this next step. In 2010, the Obama administration changed attitudes and put in place a strategy to allow for possible political negotiations to resolve the war. [48] The Taliban themselves had refused to speak to the Afghan government as an American “doll.” Sporadic efforts at peace talks between the United States and the Taliban then took place, and in October 2010 it was reported that Taliban commanders (the “Quetta Shura”) had left their sanctuary in Pakistan and were safely escorted by NATO aircraft to Kabul, with the assurance that NATO personnel would not arrest them.

[49] At the end of the talks, it turned out that the head of that delegation, which claimed to be Akhtar Mansour, the second taliban commander, was in fact a crook who had deceived NATO officials. [50] In 2018, a growing pacifist movement emerged in Afghanistan, particularly after a peace march that the Afghan media described as a “Helmand peace convoy”. [65] [66] The peace march was a reaction to a car bomb on 23 March in Lashkar Gah, which killed 14 people. Protesters travelled several hundred kilometres from Lashkar Gah in Helmand province through the Taliban-held area to Kabul. It was there that they met Ghani and held sit-in-protests in front of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and near embassies. [68] Their efforts have inspired other movements in other parts of Afghanistan. [69] Intra-Afghanistan negotiations did not begin as planned on 10 March 2020.