U.s.-Taliban Agreement

The agreement also provides that the Taliban and the Afghan government will begin a “dialogue and negotiations” on 10 March 2020, a date that has already passed. The specific themes of this “dialogue and negotiations” are not specified, but they should at least include the role of the Taliban in a future Afghan government, the role of Islamic law in the Afghan constitution, the protection and rights of women and other minorities and, ultimately, the direction of the country. As a precursor to intra-Afghan negotiations, the agreement states that the United States is ready to cooperate “with all parties concerned” in the release of war prisoners and political prisoners. The agreement provided that the Afghan government would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners by March 10, 2020 and that the Taliban would release 1,000 Afghan prisoners. The release of the prisoners is described as a “spokesman for trust” to stimulate talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. Neither side specified when the more substantial negotiations would begin or provided further details. U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, the architect of the peace process, however, tweeted that the two sides “codify a tripartite agreement that codifies the rules and procedures governing their negotiations on a political roadmap and a comprehensive ceasefire.” On February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement that was to be a first step towards an intra-Afghan peace agreement. The main provisions of the agreement were the U.S. commitment to withdraw all U.S. and foreign troops from Afghanistan, a Taliban promise to prevent Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups from using Afghan territory to threaten the United States and its partners, and a promise from both sides to support peace negotiations within Afghanistan. As part of the agreement, the United States promised to reduce the number of U.S. troops from about 14,000 to 8,600 troops, proportionately reduce the number of other international forces in Afghanistan, and cooperate with both sides to release the prisoners.

There have been some remarkable problems with the agreement, such as the Afghan government`s lack of involvement in the negotiations. It was an attempt to make the most of a bad situation. The annexes to the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, which has never been published, should limit the fighting. According to a well-placed source, the Taliban were allowed to continue their operations in rural areas, but not in major cities. But what happens next remains a problem. Although on March 18, 2020, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. forces have already begun to leave the country. Some in the United States question the terms of the agreement and even call it a surrender document.

Faced with the weakness of the Kabul government and the U.S. branch that has supported your troops, some would say that they support the Kabul government, others fear that the Taliban will wait for American troops to leave and invade Kabul, as they did in 1995. If that happens, the 20 years of war and the loss of nearly 2,500 American lives will have nothing to do. The agreement set a tentative timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, preventing the Taliban from using international jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda to attack the United States or its allies. Finally, the agreement stipulates that the United States will begin diplomatic talks with the United Nations to remove Taliban members from the “sanctions list.” “We agreed to reset the measures in strict compliance with the implementation of all elements of the U.S.-Taliban agreement and all commitments made,” he said.