US-Taleban peace deal a potential watershed in 19-year Afghanistan war

Men take selfies with their smartphones with Commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan General Austin Scott Miller (second from left), and Afghanistan's Acting Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid (second, from right), in Kabul. PHOTO: AFP PHOTO / AFGHANISTAN'S MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
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WASHINGTON - Barring last-minute explosions - literally - the Taleban and the United States are set to sign a peace deal on Saturday (Feb 29) in Doha, marking a tentative step towards an exit for the US from its longest war of 19 years and counting.

The good news is that to a large extent, the seven-day Reduction in Violence (RIV) agreed to a week ago by the US and the Taleban - which the US invaded Afghanistan to throw out of power in 2001 because it was harbouring Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden - has worked.

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