Analysis

Afghanistan: Afghan Peace Talks Divide Taliban
Afghan policemen inspect the site of a suicide attack in the city of Lashkar Gah, Helmand province on February 29, 2012. A suicide car bomber on February 29 targeted a supply convoy of the NATO-led forces in southern Afghanistan, injuring seven Afghan civilians, the Interior Ministry said. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
March 2, 2012
| Security
| Asia and the Pacific
Summary
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The Taliban’s move toward peace talks with the United States has revealed fracturing within the organization that could provoke greater conflict. Even if some Taliban leaders show true interest in negotiations, the recent uproar at the Bagram airbase over the burning of Korans has fanned the flame of anti-Americanism that could drive the organization and squash already small chances for a peaceful settlement.

Violence continued on March 1 when an Afghan soldier, working in conjunction with an Afghan literacy instructor, attacked and killed two U.S. soldiers at a joint military base in southern Kandahar province. Both men were killed by U.S. helicopter gunfire soon after the attack roughly a mile from the base. The pair of attackers reportedly had links to the Taliban, according to the New York Times. The attack was the most recent of several incidents that have now taken the lives of eight Americans in Afghanistan since February 20. The Taliban called on Afghans on February 23 to target military bases and to “teach them a lesson,” according to Reuters.

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