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Biden to Withdraw All Combat Troops From Afghanistan by Sept. 11

But Mr. Biden’s decision drew fire from Republicans.

“This is a reckless and dangerous decision,” said Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Arbitrary deadlines would likely put our troops in danger, jeopardize all the progress we’ve made, and lead to civil war in Afghanistan — and create a breeding ground for international terrorists.”

President Donald J. Trump had set a withdrawal deadline for May 1, but he was known for announcing, and reversing, a number of significant foreign policy decisions, and Pentagon officials continued to press for a delay. Mr. Biden, who has long been skeptical of the Afghan deployment, spent his first three months in office assessing that timeline.

The Afghan central government is unable to halt Taliban advances, and American officials offer a grim assessment of prospects for peace in the country. Still, American intelligence agencies say they do not believe Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups pose an immediate threat to strike the United States from Afghanistan. That assessment has been critical to the Biden administration as it decided to withdraw most of the remaining forces from the country.

A senior administration official said the troop withdrawal would begin before May 1 and conclude before the symbolic date of Sept. 11. Any attacks on withdrawing NATO troops, the official said, would be met with a forceful response.

Taliban leaders have long pledged that any breach of the deadline means that their forces will again begin attacking American and coalition troops. Under a withdrawal deal negotiated during the Trump administration, the Taliban mostly stopped those attacks — but in past weeks, they have rocketed American bases in Afghanistan’s south and east.

In public statements on Tuesday, Taliban leaders focused not on Mr. Biden’s decision for a full withdrawal — leaving behind a weak central government that has proved incapable of halting insurgent advances around the country — but rather on the fact that the administration was going to miss the May 1 deadline.

“We are not agreeing with delay after May 1,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said on local television. “Any delay after May 1 is not acceptable for us.”

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Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s President, Has Little Sway Over Its Future

KABUL, Afghanistan — He attends international conferences, meets with diplomats, recently inaugurated a dam and delivers patriotic speeches vowing to defend his country against the Taliban.

But how much control President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan has over his imperiled country’s future and his own has become a matter of debate among politicians, analysts and citizens. Or rather, the question has been largely resolved: not much.

From most vantage points, Mr. Ghani — well qualified for his job and deeply credentialed, with Johns Hopkins, Berkeley, Columbia, the World Bank and the United Nations in his background — is thoroughly isolated. A serious author with a first-class intellect, he is dependent on the counsel of a handful, unwilling to even watch television news, those who know him say, and losing allies fast.

That spells trouble for a country where a hard-line Islamist insurgency has the upper hand militarily, where nearly half the population faces hunger at crisis levels, according to the United Nations, where the overwhelming balance of government money comes from abroad and where weak governance and widespread corruption are endemic.

recent letter to him from Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken was so harsh that even Afghans critical of Mr. Ghani found it insulting.

In language more likely to be used with an unruly schoolboy than a head of state, the letter repeated the phrase “I urge you” three times. “I must also make clear to you, Mr. President,” Mr. Blinken continued, “that as our policy process continues in Washington, the United States has not ruled out any option.” The unspoken subtext was clear: Your influence is minimal.

“As an Afghan, a sense of humiliation comes over you,” said Hekmat Khalil Karzai, the head of an Afghan think tank and a cousin of the former president, Hamid Karzai. “But I also feel Ghani deserves it,” Mr. Karzai said. “He’s dealing with the kiss of death from his own closest partner.”

The Biden administration is banking on multinational talks, tentatively set for later this month in Istanbul, to establish a plan for moving forward. At the heart of the U.S. proposal is a temporary government to hold power until elections can be held.

In this interim body, the Taliban and the current government would share power, according to a leaked draft. Such a setup could require Mr. Ghani to step down, a move he has repeatedly refused to consider.

Mr. Ghani has come up with a counterproposal that he plans to release soon, which calls for a cease-fire, a temporary “government of peace” whose potential makeup remains unclear, and then early elections in which he promises not to run.

Both the American plan and Mr. Ghani’s could be non-starters, as the Taliban have never said they would agree to elections, nor have they indicated that they would go along with any sort of government plan or be content with power-sharing.

“From what we’re seeing, they want absolute power, and they are waiting to take power by force,” Mr. Ghani’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, said in an interview.

While Mr. Ghani is steadily losing political capital in Kabul and with international partners, the country’s military position is deteriorating. Each day brings news of security force members blown up or gunned down.

“They can’t keep doing that,” said a senior Western diplomat in Kabul, commenting on the steady attrition. “The toll on the government, and the credibility and legitimacy it has, it’s not sustainable.”

Visions of September 1996, when the Taliban rolled into Kabul virtually unopposed and proceeded to establish their harsh regime, haunt the capital.

Deep inside the presidential palace compound, an 83-acre parklike campus protected by seven layers of security, Mr. Ghani’s inner circle of close aides is small and shrinking. He fired his respected interior minister, an army general, after a military helicopter was shot down by one of the country’s numerous militias last month. His attorney general, who had a rare reputation for integrity, stepped down. He pushed out his short-tenured finance minister.

One senior former official argued that he was cut off from reality and what is going on on the ground.

Mr. Mohib, however, pushed back on this assessment. “This criticism comes from a political elite which thinks it has been marginalized,” he said.

Some former officials characterized Mr. Ghani as being compelled to micromanage, including involving himself in the details of military matters and personnel decisions even down to the local police chief level. “He likes that, because he feels he’s the only one,” said Mr. Karzai, meaning the only one competent to make serious decisions.

Mr. Mohib called the micromanagement accusation “a huge exaggeration,” saying that the president had not attended a security meeting “in weeks,” adding that “he is aware of the strategic picture.”

Mr. Ghani’s communications office did not agree to a request for an interview with the president. A senior aide did not respond to an interview request.

The consequences of Mr. Ghani’s isolation appear to be unfolding in real time. The president has a potent vision for the country, but selling it and making it work politically is not his strong suit, and it shows up in the nation’s divisions, said the senior Western diplomat in Kabul. That’s not good for Afghan unity, the diplomat argued.

These divisions echo out from Kabul into the country’s fractious regions, where independent militias and other longstanding power-brokers have either rearmed themselves or are preparing to do so.

In the center of the country, a low-intensity fight between government forces and the militia of a minority Shiite warlord has been smoldering for months, fueled by the downing of an Afghan forces helicopter in March. Mr. Ghani and his aides have taken an active role in managing the conflict, to the dismay of the Afghan military.

“This is what we wanted to avoid. We are already stretched,” said a senior Afghan security official. “And here, you want to start another war?”

The upcoming talks in Turkey could well end up like the recent ones in Moscow and Dushanbe, Tajikistan — with bland communiqués deploring violence and hoping for peace. The American idea — to substitute new talks in a new locale for the old talks in Qatar that have gone nowhere — is not necessarily a winning bet. Indeed, the early signs are not promising, with Mr. Ghani once again rejecting preliminary American proposals, and the Taliban aggressively noncommittal about the ideas currently on the table.

“If the U.S. pulls out, and there is no political agreement, then we are in deep trouble,” said the senior Afghan security official.

“Militarily, we don’t have much hope,” he said. “If we don’t get something, the Taliban are going to march. It’s going to be a severe battle.”

Fahim Abed contributed reporting.

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Afghan War Casualty Report: April 2021

The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan for the month. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The report includes government claims of insurgent casualty figures, but in most cases these cannot be independently verified by The Times. Similarly, the reports do not include Taliban claims for their attacks on the government unless they can be verified. Both sides routinely inflate casualty totals for their opponents.

At least 64 pro-government forces and 17 civilians were killed in Afghanistan the past week. The deadliest attack took place in Helmand Province, where the Taliban attacked a military base called Waziromanda near Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, killing 10 soldiers and taking 12 others prisoner. Insurgents captured the base and seized all weapons and equipment. In another incident in Helmand, a car bomb targeted a police outpost in Nawa District, killing eight soldiers and wounding 12 others. In Baghlan Province, a military convoy was attacked by the Taliban in the Hajda Kotal area of Dahana-e-Ghori District, killing five soldiers and wounding four others.

[Read the Afghan War Casualty Report from previous weeks.]

April 8 Herat Province: one civilian killed

One civilian was killed and another was wounded in an attack by unknown gunmen in the Second Police District of Herat city, the provincial capital.

April 7 Herat Province: one police officer killed

A police officer was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the center of Karokh District.

April 7 Baghlan Province: four police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Pul-i-Khumri city, the provincial capital, killing four police officers and wounding three others.

April 7 Badghis Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban shot and killed a police officer in the village of Pir-e-Ghaibi of Qadis District.

April 7 Herat Province: three security forces killed

Three members of a pro-government militia were killed and another went missing after a Taliban attack on a security outpost in the center of Pashtun Zarghun District. An additional five militia members were taken prisoner by insurgents.

April 7 Baghlan Province: five soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a military convoy in the Hajda Kotal area of Dahan-e-Ghori District, killing five soldiers and wounding four others.

April 7 Baghlan Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked a military base in Eshkamish District, killing one police officer and wounding four others.

April 7 Takhar Province: five police officers killed

Five police officers, including a company commander, were killed and eight others were wounded during a Taliban attack in the Khwaja Band Kashan village in Ishkamish District.

April 7 Kabul Province: one civilian killed

The head of the service department in the National Statistics and Information Authority was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Qala-e-Wazir area of Paghman District. Police have launched an investigation.

April 7 Nangarhar Province: two civilians killed

A roadside bomb exploded near a police vehicle in the Second Police District of Jalalabad, the provincial capital, killing two civilians and wounding three police officers and 15 civilians.

April 6 Kunduz Province: four police officers killed

Four police officers were killed and three others were taken prisoner in a Taliban attack in the Fifth Police District of Kunduz city, the provincial capital.

April 6 Kunduz Province: one commando killed

One Afghan commando was killed and three others were wounded in the Ostaming village of Imam Sahib District during a military operation.

April 6 Badghis Province: one civilian killed

The Taliban shot and killed a former police officer in the village of Kanaqol in Aab Kamari District.

April 6 Badghis Province: one soldier killed

One soldier was shot and killed by the Taliban in the village of Shotor Gardan in Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital.

April 6 Kabul Province: one police officer killed

Unknown gunmen shot and killed a police officer in Baghlan District. The attackers managed to escape from the area.

April 6 Kandahar Province: one civilian killed

A motorcycle was hit by a roadside bomb in the center of Panjwai District, killing one civilian.

April 6 Kandahar Province: four civilians killed

A passenger bus was hit by a roadside bomb in Maiwand District, on the highway connecting Kandahar to Kabul, killing four civilians and wounding 13 others.

April 6 Nangarhar Province: four police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Ghazi Baba area of Surkh Rod District, killing four police officers and seizing their weapons. Local authorities claimed that nine Taliban fighters were also killed in the clashes.

April 5 Ghor Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked a military convoy in the village of Kharistan in Firoz Koh, the provincial capital. One soldier was killed in the clashes. Local authorities claimed that two Taliban fighters were also killed.

April 5 Helmand Province: 10 soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a military base called Waziromanda near Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, killing 10 soldiers and taking 12 others prisoner. Insurgents captured the base and seized all weapons and equipment.

April 5 Helmand Province: eight police officers killed

A car bomb targeted a police outpost in Nawa District, killing eight soldiers and wounding 12 others.

April 5 Herat Province: four soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the village of Jou-e-Qazi of Shindand District, where fighting continued for several hours. Four soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in the battle. An additional six soldiers were taken prisoner by the Taliban.

April 5 Kabul Province: one security force killed

A military truck was hit by a roadside bomb in Sabz Sang area of Qarabagh District, killing one member of the territorial army and wounding four others.

April 4 Kabul Province: three security forces killed

The Taliban targeted a military convoy with a car bomb in Panja Chenar area of Paghman District, killing three security force members and wounding 12 others.

April 4 Herat Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the village of Rood-e-Gaz in Adraskan District, killing one police officer and taking three others prisoner.

April 4 Kabul Province: one soldier killed

An army truck was hit by a roadside bomb in Qargha area of Paghman District, killing one soldier and wounding three others.

April 3 Takhar Province: one civilian killed

Unknown gunmen shot and killed the son of Juma Khan, a member of the provincial council in the Pole-e-shahrawan area of Taloqan, the provincial capital. The attacker was able to flee from the area.

April 3 Kunar Province: four soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked two security outposts in the Gulsalk area of Chapa Dara District, killing four soldiers and taking four others prisoner. Two soldiers are missing. The Taliban captured one of the security outposts and burned it down. A Humvee was also blown up by a bomb.

April 2 Helmand Province: six civilians killed

A vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Sarkar area of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, killing six civilians.


Reporting was contributed by Najim Rahim and Fatima Faizi from Kabul, Zabihullah Ghazi from Jalalabad, Farooq Jan Mangal from Khost, Taimoor Shah from Kandahar and Asadullah Timoory from Herat.

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A K-Shaped Recovery, This Time on a Global Scale

WASHINGTON — The global economy is rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic faster than previously expected, largely thanks to the strength of the United States. But the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday that an uneven rollout of vaccines posed a threat to the recovery, as the fortunes of rich and poor countries diverge.

The global dynamic echoes the “K-shaped” recoveries that are playing out worldwide. While many wealthy nations are poised for a major economic expansion this year, other nations’ struggles could reverse decades of progress in fighting poverty. Top international economic officials warned this week that this divergence, which is being amplified by sluggish deployment of vaccines in developing countries, is a threat to stability and long-term growth.

“Economic fortunes within countries and across countries are diverging dangerously,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the I.M.F., said at a panel discussion on Tuesday during the annual spring meetings of the fund and the World Bank.

This week, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen emphasized that point, saying in a speech that the inability of low- and middle-income countries to invest in robust inoculation programs could result in “a deeper and longer-lasting crisis, with mounting problems of indebtedness, more entrenched poverty and growing inequality.”

upgrading its global growth forecast for the year thanks to vaccinations of hundreds of millions of people, efforts that are expected to help fuel a sharp economic rebound. It now expects the global economy to expand by 6 percent this year, up from its previous projection of 5.5 percent, after a contraction of 3.3 percent in 2020.

The wealthiest countries are leading the way out of the crisis, particularly the United States, whose economy is now projected to expand by 6.4 percent in 2021. The euro area is expected to expand by 4.4 percent and Japan is forecast to expand by 3.3 percent, according to the I.M.F.

Among emerging market and developing economies, China and India are expected to drive growth. China’s economy is projected to expand by 8.4 percent, offering its own significant boost to overall global growth, and India’s is expected to expand by 12.5 percent.

But within advanced economies, low-skilled workers have been hit the hardest and those who lost jobs could find it difficult to replace them. And low-income countries are facing bigger losses in economic output than advanced economies, reversing gains in poverty reduction and risking long-lasting pandemic-era scars.

Emerging market economies in many cases have fewer resources for fiscal stimulus, vaccine investments and labor force retraining — factors that put them at risk of falling behind and getting stuck as the world starts its rebound.

Researchers at the I.M.F. pointed out in a recent blog post that it was important that rates on U.S. debt are rising because of a strengthening economic outlook, one that will benefit many economies by stoking demand for their exports. Still, “countries that export less to the United States yet rely more on external borrowing could feel financial market stress.”

Most U.S. officials have focused on how stronger domestic growth could actually help the rest of the world as American consumers buy foreign goods and services. “This year the U.S. looks like it’s going to be a locomotive for the global economy,” Richard H. Clarida, the vice chair of the Fed, said during a recent speech.

Ms. Yellen made a similar argument on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the I.M.F., at which she urged countries not to let up on fiscal support.

“Stronger growth in the U.S. is going to spill over positively to the entire global outlook and we are going to be careful to learn the lessons of the financial crisis, which is ‘don’t withdraw support too quickly,’” she said.

There are risks that spillovers could work the other way — slower vaccination progress abroad could come to weigh on American and global improvement. While roughly 500 doses of the vaccine have been administered per 1,000 people in the United States, based on New York Times vaccination data, that number is about 1 per 1,000 in Mali and Afghanistan.

Economist Intelligence Unit.

“There’s a race right now between these variants of concern and vaccines,” she said during a webcast event Tuesday. She urged “global cooperation and attention” to how disparities in vaccine distribution affect inequality and economic recoveries.

The I.M.F. agrees. Vitor Gaspar, the fund’s director of fiscal affairs, said that advanced economies would continue to be at risk even if the virus were raging in developing countries that are not major economic powers, noting that the virus cannot be eradicated anywhere until it is eradicated everywhere. For that reason, he said, investing in vaccinations is critical.

“Global vaccination is probably the global public investment with the highest return ever considered,” Mr. Gaspar said in an interview. “Vaccination policy is economic policy.”

While global policy bodies are warning about diverging growth and public health outcomes, some Wall Street economists have taken a more optimistic tone.

“We think market participants underestimate the likely pace of improvement in both the public health situation and economic activity in the remainder of 2021,” Jan Hatzius at Goldman Sachs wrote in an April 5 research note.

Vaccinations are high or progressing in Canada, Australia, Britain and the euro area. In emerging markets, Mr. Hatzius wrote, Goldman economists expect 60 to 70 percent of the population to have “at least some immunity” by the end of the year when counting prior coronavirus infection and vaccine proliferation.

“The laggards are China and other Asian countries, although this is mainly because Asia has been so successful in virus control,” he wrote.

How fast global recoveries proceed could be critical to the policy outlook, both in government support spending and in central bank monetary help.

From the Fed to the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan, monetary authorities have employed a mix of rock-bottom rates, huge bond purchases and other emergency settings to try to cushion the pandemic’s fallout.

Organizing bodies have echoed Ms. Yellen’s comment: They argue that it’s important to see the recovery through, rather than pulling back on economic help early.

Global policymakers “generally view the risks to financial stability associated with early withdrawal of support measures as currently greater than those associated with a late withdrawal,” Randal K. Quarles, the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision and head of the global Financial Stability Board, said in a letter released Tuesday.

The I.M.F. said on Tuesday that it was keeping a close eye on interest rates in the United States, which could pose financial risks if the Fed raises them unexpectedly. It also urged countries to maintain targeted fiscal support — and to be ready to provide more if future waves of the virus emerge.

“For all countries, we’re not out of the woods, and the pandemic is not over,” said Gita Gopinath, the I.M.F.’s chief economist.

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The ‘Joy and Envy’ of Vaccine FOMO

At the start of the year, Shay Fan felt relief: Vaccinations were on their way. Her relief turned to joy when her parents and in-laws got their shots.

Three months later, Ms. Fan, a 36-year-old freelance marketer and writer in Los Angeles, is still waiting for hers, and that joy is gone.

“I want to be patient,” she said.

But scrolling through Instagram and seeing photos of people, she said, “in Miami with no masks spraying Champagne into another person’s mouth,” while she sits in her apartment, having not had a haircut or been to a restaurant in more than a year, has made patience hard to practice. “It’s like when every friend is getting engaged before you, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m happy for them, but when is it my turn?’”

For much of the pandemic, the same rules applied: Stay at home, wear a mask, wash your hands.

But now, with vaccine distribution ramping up in some areas while others face a shortage, amid a third wave of coronavirus cases, or even warnings of a fourth, the rules are diverging around the world, and even within the same country.

and 47 percent of the population has had at least one vaccine dose. In New York, where at least 34 percent of people in the state have had at least one vaccine dose, there is talk about life feeling almost normal.

However, France, where only 14 percent of the population has received at least one vaccine dose, just entered its third lockdown. And Brazil, which has given at least one dose to 8 percent of the population, is reporting some of the world’s highest numbers of new cases and deaths per day. There are dozens of countries — including Japan, Afghanistan, Kenya, the Philippines — that have given only a single dose to less than 2 percent of their populations.

or racial lines. Older people, who make up the majority of those vaccinated, have been dining indoors, hugging grandchildren and throwing parties, while many younger people are still ineligible or repeatedly finding the “no appointments” message when they have tried to book.

Dr. Lynn Bufka, a psychologist and senior director at the American Psychological Association, said the pandemic has weighed heavily on teenagers, and a long wait for vaccines to be distributed to them could add to the stress.

“Children are in many ways those individuals whose lives have been disrupted as much as anyone but with less life experience on how to adapt to these kinds of disruptions,” Dr. Bufka said.

For American adults, at least, the fear of missing out should not last for much longer. President Biden has promised enough doses by the end of next month to immunize all of the nation’s roughly 260 million adults. In fact, the pace of vaccinations is quickening to such an extent that Biden administration officials anticipate the supply of coronavirus vaccines to outstrip demand by the middle of next month if not sooner.

Ms. Fan, the freelance writer and marketer in Los Angeles, will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment in mid-April. She does not plan to do anything wild — the basics are what she is looking forward to most. “I just need a haircut,” she said.

Constant Méheut contributed reporting.

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New York Times Names James Dao Metro Editor

The New York Times on Monday named Jim Dao, a deputy editor on the national desk who has worked in a wide range of roles at the paper since 1992, as its new metropolitan editor.

“Jim will oversee the most consequential mayoral race in many years, and the epic story of the rebuilding of a city devastated by the pandemic,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, and Joseph Kahn, the managing editor, said in a note to the staff on Monday.

For Mr. Dao, 63, the new role is a homecoming. He joined The Times as a metro reporter nearly 30 years ago and was later the department’s deputy editor. He has also served as Albany bureau chief, congressional reporter and Pentagon correspondent.

In 2010 and 2011, he reported an eight-part, multimedia series about the yearlong deployment of an Army battalion in Afghanistan, “A Year at War,” which won an Emmy. He was also an executive producer of “Soldier Father Son,” a Netflix documentary based on the life of an Army sergeant profiled in his Afghanistan series.

the Op-Ed editor. In June, the section’s top editor, James Bennet, resigned amid internal and external criticism of a Times essay by Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, that called for troops to be deployed in response to civil unrest. Mr. Dao stepped down from his position, and The Times reassigned him, making him an editor on the national desk.

Mr. Dao takes over metro coverage from Clifford J. Levy, who led the department since 2018 until January, when The Times announced that he would spend some time advising the audio department as a deputy managing editor, one of the highest newsroom positions at the paper.

Mr. Dao steps into the new job as a number of candidates are promoting themselves in advance of the Nov. 2 vote that will determine the successor to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. He also takes the job at a time of flux within The Times. High-level editors have lately gotten promotions as Mr. Baquet, 64, approaches the paper’s traditional retirement age of 66 for top leaders.

Carolyn Ryan, who oversees recruitment and strategy at The Times, was promoted to deputy managing editor in October. Marc Lacey, the former national desk editor, joined the newsroom leadership team as the editor in charge of live coverage in December. Rebecca Blumenstein was promoted in February to a newly created role as a deputy editor working directly with the publisher, A. G. Sulzberger.

The Times has also promoted rising stars recently. Jia Lynn Yang, a deputy editor on the national desk, was appointed national editor in February. Ms. Yang, the author of the 2020 book “One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965,” coordinated the national department’s collaborations with the politics team for the paper’s coverage of the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential campaign.

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U.S. Looks to Build on Secret Portions of Taliban Deal to Reduce Violence

DOHA, Qatar — U.S. diplomats are trying to build on parts of the peace deal made with the Taliban last year, specifically the classified portions that outlined what military actions — on both sides — were supposed to be prohibited under the signed agreement, according to American, Afghan and Taliban officials.

The negotiations, which have been quietly underway for months, have morphed into the Biden administration’s last-ditch diplomatic effort to achieve a reduction in violence, which could enable the United States to still exit the country should broader peace talks fail to yield progress in the coming weeks.

If these discussions, and the separate talks between the Afghan government and Taliban falter, the United States will likely find itself with thousands of troops in Afghanistan beyond May 1. That’s the deadline by which all American military forces are meant to withdraw from the country under the 2020 agreement with the Taliban and would come at a time when the insurgent group likely will have begun its spring offensive against the beleaguered Afghan security forces.

Both of these conditions would almost certainly set back any progress made in the past months toward a political settlement, despite both the Trump and the Biden administrations’ fervent attempts to end the United States’ longest-running war.

two annexes of the 2020 deal, which were deemed classified by the Trump administration, is intended to stave off an insurgent victory on the battlefield during the peace talks by limiting Taliban military operations against Afghan forces, according to U.S. officials and others familiar with the negotiations. In return, the United States would push for the release of all Taliban prisoners still imprisoned by the Afghan government and the lifting of United Nations sanctions against the Taliban — two goals outlined in the original deal.

These new negotiations, which exclude representatives from the Afghan government, are being carried out amid a contentious logjam between the Taliban and the Afghans, despite pressure from international and regional actors on both sides to commit to some form of a path forward.

first reported by Tolo News, with requests that were not fully accepted by the U.S. negotiators and included severe restrictions on U.S. air power.

Many of the delays in securing a new deal to reduce violence stem from the original February 2020 agreement.

That deal loosely called for the Taliban to stop suicide attacks and large-scale offensives in exchange for the Americans forces scaling back drone strikes and raids, among other types of military assaults. But both sides interpreted those terms differently, officials said, and both have accused one another of violating the deal. The Taliban is also supposed to cut ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, but the U.S. intelligence community has seen little movement toward that goal.

Under the current arrangement, U.S. forces can defend their Afghan allies if they are being attacked, but the Taliban said U.S. airstrikes have been carried out against their fighters who were not attacking Afghan forces.

Digital spreadsheets maintained by the Taliban and viewed by The Times detail hundreds of purported U.S. violations. They record in detail the group’s wounded and killed, along with civilian casualties and property damage. However, the Taliban often do not distinguish between offensive operations carried out by Afghan security forces from those by U.S. forces, and several of the events The Times was able to independently verify from June 2020 did not involve American troops.

The new terms for a reduction in violence have been a serious point of contention during the past several months, during meetings frequently held at the Sharq Village and Spa, a luxurious resort in Doha, Qatar.

Meetings between American officials and the Taliban in Doha — including with high-level officials like then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in November and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, in December — attempted to scale back Taliban attacks and stop the bloody assassination campaign wreaking havoc across the country, but made little headway.

With time running out, the Biden administration is hoping for more success, though these discussions continue to hit roadblocks.

Negotiations between the Afghans and the Taliban, which began in September, have practically come to a halt as the insurgent group has remained reluctant to discuss any future government or power-sharing deal while the United States remains noncommittal about whether it will withdraw from Afghanistan by May 1.

The Biden administration’s recent push for talks in Turkey could be promising, officials and experts said, but the Taliban have yet to agree to attend.

The insurgent group thinks Mr. Biden’s negotiators are manipulating the proposed agreement to reduce violence by asking for “extreme” measures, such as halting the use of roadside bombs and pausing attacks on checkpoints, according to people close to the negotiations.

Taliban negotiators say they believe the American requests equate to a cease-fire, while U.S. military officials say that if certain parameters are not clearly outlined, then the Taliban will shift their tactics to exploit any loopholes they can find — like they have done in the past.

Some of the more striking episodes happened in the past week when C.I.A.-backed militia forces were accused of killing more than a dozen civilians in a Taliban-controlled village in Khost Province in southeastern Afghanistan.

In retaliation, the Taliban authorized their fighters to attack the American military and C.I.A. base there and publicly took responsibility for the rocket attack that followed: a first for the insurgent group since it has mostly stopped, or refused to acknowledge, attacks against U.S. bases and troops, per the terms of the 2020 deal.

Some Taliban officials believe the C.I.A.-backed forces should be disbanded and their operations stopped if the insurgent group agrees to any further reduction in violence, according to people close to the negotiations, but it is unclear if the insurgent group has raised those concerns directly. Regardless, any such request is likely to fall on deaf ears as the U.S. military and intelligence community views these forces as some of the Afghans’ most effective, despite the litany of human rights abuses leveled against them.

The Khost incident highlights the difficulty of reaching an understanding when it comes to decreasing the intensity of the war, and the need for an international third-party monitoring body, such as the United Nations, in any future cease-fires or agreements to reduce violence, experts said.

It is unlikely the United States and Taliban will reach a new deal before May 1, analysts say, unless U.S. officials are willing to make serious concessions to prevent a violent offensive this spring, one that seems to already have started given the series of large attacks and assassinations by the Taliban in recent days.

Some experts have criticized the United States’ narrow focus on a short-term reduction of violence as a distraction from the larger effort of reaching a political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“I am hard pressed to see what payoff there’s been for the amount of effort that has been put into trying to get limited violence reduction front-loaded in the peace process,” said Laurel E. Miller, a former top State Department official who worked on Afghanistan and Pakistan diplomacy under the previous two administrations. “It might be helpful for political optics in covering for an American withdrawal. But what’s going to make this stick afterward if there isn’t a real settlement? Nothing.”

Farooq Jan Mangal contributed reporting from Khost Province.

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