Seize Upon the Taliban Split

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Media Outlet: The New York Times

This split creates a real possibility for achieving that old, elusive dream: a compromise with “moderate” Taliban backed by the regional powers, one that would isolate the hard-liners and their allies among the international terrorists based in Afghanistan.

The reason the region as a whole might be persuaded to unite behind a settlement is that the Taliban opponents of peace efforts have either joined or are drawing closer to the Islamic State. In recent months the Iraqi-based Islamist group has been establishing a stronger presence in eastern Afghanistan and has killed a number of local Taliban who have opposed it.



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Anatol Lieven is a senior research fellow with New America's International Security program.