EVEN AS JOE BIDEN WAS ANNOUNCED AS PRESIDENT-ELECT, many Afghans wondered how a new administration thousands of miles away would affect the course of their own nation and its long-running conflict. After eighteen months of negotiations, the Afghan Taliban and the US government signed an agreement last February in Doha, Qatar, which paved the way for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Afghans and non-Afghans alike saw the deal as a step toward peace in the war-torn country. 

But though the US military ceased most of its operations, the intra-Afghan conflict they entered, escalated, and in many instances precipitated continues unabated. Afghans did most of the fighting and dying prior to the Doha deal; they now do all of it, save for the emergency US air strikes called in to stiffen the resistance of the Afghan national security forces against their ever emboldened Talib enemy.

Read more at Columbia Journalism Review.