Last Thursday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. and the Taliban have negotiated a deal for a seven-day ‘reduction in violence’ in Afghanistan. Esper added that in conclusion of a NATO meeting in Brussels, the U.S. is consulting allies about the deal. Esper continues to emphasize that a political agreement is the best, “if not only,” solution in Afghanistan. Details on whether U.S. troops would continue to conduct counter-terrorism operations have not been elaborated on. This weeklong period will show the U.S. how serious the Taliban is about a peace deal. It is a continual evaluation process.