The Taliban is ready for a second round of direct talks with the United States that may take place sometime this month, according to the Associated Press.
Taliban officials met with Alice Wells, an American diplomat, in July. In that meeting, the Taliban asked for U.S. recognition of its political office in Qatar and an end to "restrictions against its top leaders before the start of the formal negotiations," the AP reported.
Talks between the two sides are preliminary, although both have expressed the hope that some negotiated settlement of the Afghan war can be reached. The top American commander in Afghanistan said in July that he was open to the idea of directly speaking with the Taliban.
M. Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman for the Taliban's political office, wrote in a June statement that negotiation is the "best way" to resolve the war, while outlining some confidence-building steps the U.S. could take to move talks forward, including prisoner exchanges and dropping Taliban members from an international blacklist.
The U.S. requested a two-month ceasefire during the upcoming Afghan elections in the previous meeting, according to AP, although no agreement was reached.
Still, although any kind of negotiation to end the nearly 17-year-old war at this point seems to be good news, these preliminary talks still have a long way to go. The Obama administration previously tried to talk directly with the Taliban for more than a year before negotiations were blown up by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was angered over his exclusion from the talks and the Taliban's opening of the Qatar office in front of its flag and a sign declaring the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)
White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army
A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.