The DOD has released a report for congress called “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.” Read the full report here.

The war in Afghanistan is not the same as it was in 2001, nor is it the same as it was five years ago. Things are constantly evolving and changing, and with these changes U.S. authorities have laid out one primary goal: To keep Afghanistan from becoming a base of operations for terrorist activities that can strike internationally, particularly against the United States. To that end, a stable government will need to be established in order to effectively combat terrorist activities on a domestic level. Defeating the Taliban is not necessarily a part of that goal.

Still, stabilization is easier said than done, if the last 17 years have been any indication. However, recent developments have shown possibilities for a reconciliation between the Taliban and the United States — a fatwa outlawing suicide bombing, and a temporary truce over the three-day holiday of Eid al-Fitr, to name the more significant ones. The United States does not need to be at peace with the Taliban, as they pose no legitimate threat once the U.S. has left the country, as long as they do not make a breeding ground for other international terrorist organizations.

In regards to this reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the report says,