The author is a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore.
The Taliban doesn't have the capacity or capabilities to retain the territories it captures. However, Afghanistan could be headed towards a military impasse that will either force the parties to find a political solution or drag it to a civil war.
Only a negotiated extension of the withdrawal timeframe with the Taliban and an expedited peace process inclusive of regional countries can help the US achieve a settlement.
Any settlement the Taliban achieves in Afghanistan will have a ripple effect on 'jihadist' groups everywhere.
As the Taliban regains influence in Afghanistan it will look to shake its tag as a proxy force.
The group has modified its aims to try and pose a new challenge to the Pakistani state which has so far succeeded in pushing it underground.
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