Violence is not the only option that the Taliban have in their arsenal. They know the value of diplomacy as well. Therefore, they have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss the prospects for a withdrawal of the United States’ (US) troops from Afghanistan after the US President Donald Trump called off peace negotiations. Meeting Russians is to gauge the support of regional governments for the Taliban’s plan, i.e., using regional powers to pressurise the US to leave Afghanistan.

But it is clear that the Taliban also want the resumption of talks with the US. They know it well that had the peace deal materialised it would have been a huge victory for them. Therefore, it is not wrong to assume that they want Russia and other regional players to use their influence to bring the US back to the dialogue table.

But will countries like Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan succeed in their endeavours to convince the mercurial Donald Trump to restart the talks? Convincing the US President is not that much difficult at the moment. After all, taking the US out of the Afghan war was ‘Trump’s promise in 2016 presidential campaign. And pulling out of the peace deal adds to Trump re-election challenges, which are enormous. Therefore, Trump can be brought back to the dialogue table.

But what if things do not go according to the ‘Taliban’s wishes? Even then, the Taliban will have the upper hand. The group will shun aside any piece of advice against violence. Were that to happen, the already war-torn Afghanistan is likely to see violence on a scale unprecedented. The Afghan government, the civilians and the foreign troops will bear the brunt of ‘Trump’s decision.

In any case, the Taliban will accelerate the guerrilla activities to achieve further territorial gains. Not forgetting that the Taliban control half of Afghanistan. And they did not succeed in gaining such a vast swathe of land by negotiations but fighting a guerrilla war.