There have been numerous reports of United States diplomatic discussions with the Taliban to negotiate an end to the Afghan War. Almost all wars end with negotiated settlements, so U.S. negotiations with the Taliban are hardly surprising.
But, as the specter of the Vietnam War has hung over the waging of the Afghan War, memories of the U.S.-North Vietnamese negotiations in the early 1970s are informing the negotiating process in Afghanistan.
James Dobbins, an analyst who previously served as a United States envoy to Afghanistan, now openly frames negotiations for an end to the Afghan War in terms of avoiding repeating the end of the Vietnam War. Dobbins’s new book, Afghan Peace Talks: A Primer, examines the peace process in Afghanistan. I have not yet had a chance to read the book, but hope to get a copy of it soon.
Dobbins provides a summary of his book’s arguments in a Washington Post op-ed.