By Sahr Muhammedally and Marc Garlasco
While the United States and the Taliban are engaged in talks, one fact is evident: As all sides have jockeyed for leverage over the past year, civilians have paid the price with over 10,000 civilian deaths and injuries in 2019, according to a new United Nations report.
Now, it appears the U.S. and the Taliban are on the verge of a deal. On Feb. 22, the U.S. and the Taliban agreed to a partial truce, measured by a seven-day reduction of violence. If this truce holds, the two sides will meet on Feb. 29 to sign a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal and pave the way for intra-Afghan talks on a political settlement. Still, negotiations will be complex, and, as all sides try to strengthen their territorial gains, the potential for further violence remains.