RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 39ISSUE 9members only

What About the Afghan State? US Interests Reach Beyond Counterterrorism

Main Image Credit A voter displays his inked finger to show that he voted in the 2009 Afghanistan election. Courtesy of US Department of Defense/Wikimedia

The cancellation of the US peace agreement with the Taliban not only reasserts the importance of elections in Afghanistan, but also wider US interests in the Afghan state. 

As the US drew closer to a formal end to war in Afghanistan, a peace agreement with the Taliban was suddenly cancelled on 8 September, on the eve of a secret meeting between US President Donald Trump, the Taliban and the Afghan government. Yet, despite the deal being framed largely in terms of US interests vis-à-vis counterterrorism and related Taliban guarantees, not only does the Afghan state appear curiously absent, so do other important US interests, obligations and

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