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With the Western military draw-down in Afghanistan drawing closer, attention now turns to the shape of the post-2014 political settlement. Some form of accommodation with the Taliban will be required for a stable and secure Afghanistan.
This paper presents the findings of discussions with senior Taliban figures, suggesting that the Taliban and the international community may in fact have reconcilable positions. This paper works to draw out the Taliban's views on three key issues:
International terrorism and the Taliban’s links with Al-Qa’ida and other armed non-state actors
The potential for a ceasefire
Parameters for conflict resolution and continuing presence of US military bases.
This briefing studiously avoids placing the authors’ biases, views, and opinions into the main of the text; the authors focus more on what our interviewees had to say. The key findings are highlighted in the briefing, and are followed by a more detailed analysis.