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On February 29, after the completion of a week-long reduction in violence period in Afghanistan, the US government and the Taliban are expected to sign a milestone agreement on a troop withdrawal. What happens next, however, is unclear.

The hope is to launch an intra-Afghan dialogue that results in a comprehensive peace process and an end to an interminable war. Challenges abound, however—from a new post-election Afghan political crisis to concerns about the Taliban’s genuine commitment to negotiating peace.

The latest episode of the AfPak File assesses the violence reduction period, looks ahead to the US-Taliban deal, considers what might come next, and lays out all the obstacles ahead.

The discussion features Andrew Watkins, senior Afghanistan analyst at the International Crisis Group; Nilofar Sakhi, a faculty member at George Mason University; Mustafa Sarwar, a journalist with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Afghan Service, locally known as Radio Azadi; and Michael Kugelman, Asia Program deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. RFE/RL's media manager, Muhammad Tahir is the moderator.

This podcast originally appeared on RFE/RL.


Muhammad Tahir

Media Manager, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more