New York Times editorial: An Opening for Afghan Peace Talks

The talks between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar over the weekend were a breakthrough of sorts. It has long been apparent, including to American generals who have spent more than a decade leading the fight in Afghanistan, that political reconciliation presents the only possibility of a solution to the conflict. While the two days of meetings produced modest progress and a productive tone, they were just a new and tentative start of what is likely to be a long and risky process.

The talks were informal and sponsored by a private group — the Pugwash Conferences, an international organization that won a Nobel Peace Prize — rather than undertaken directly by the Afghan government and the Taliban. Those who attended emphasized that they came as individuals and reflected their personal opinions rather than the official views of either the government or the insurgents.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 6, 2015

Saudi Arabia, Iran both losers in Yemen war -- Maysaa Shuja al-Deen, Al-Monitor

How Yemen’s Civil Conflict Turned Into a Regional Proxy War -- Laura Kasinof, The Nation

King's changes make Saudi policy less predictable -- Angus McDowall, Reuters

Post-sanctions Iran could be the next booming petrostate -- Cameron Glenn, Qaurtz

U.S.-Japan: A Pacific Alliance Transformed -- Jeffrey W. Hornung, The Diplomat

Barack Obama’s true nuclear test: North Korea -- Nahal Toosi, Politico

Afghanistan Is Too Dangerous for Congressional Visits -- Tim Mak, Daily Beast

Recovery in Nepal -- Prashant Jha, New Yorker

'There is great fear in the air': What's happening in Burundi? -- Lucinda Borkett-Jones, CT

Moscow Is Playing Second Fiddle to Beijing -- Mark Galeotti, Moscow Times

Why Are Chinese Frigates in the Black Sea? -- Ankit Panda, The Diplomat

Surveillance: who’s watching what, and why? -- Kateryna Khinkulova, Euronews

Greedy Environment Steals California's Water -- Justin Fox, Bloomberg

The Texas Attack Was a Failure, but It Shows That ISIS’s Influence Is Growing -- Joshua Keating, Slate

The identity underworld: How criminals sell your data on the Dark Web -- Jaikumar Vijayan, CSM

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