What Is the Peace Agreement between Us and Taliban

Washington`s plans are now clear: it wants to accelerate Taliban peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar, as well as endless efforts to put Afghanistan`s neighbors on the same page with their own conflicting agendas. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has made another brutal push for a UN-led peace effort in Afghanistan. “Progress in the talks has been extremely slow,” Bahiss said. “This is due to the huge gap between the parties to the negotiations and the fact that all parties – the Afghan government, the Taliban, other Afghan actors participating in the Afghan government-led negotiating team – have covered up their bets and waited for what the new US administration will do.” As a result of the agreement, the Afghan government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States. He said he “welcomes the shortening of the period of violence and takes note of the agreement between the United States and the Taliban.” The United States, for its part, has pledged to work with the Afghan government to reach “a sustainably negotiated agreement.” Although the Taliban are fulfilling their main wish under this agreement – the withdrawal of US troops – they have remained vague to protect civil rights that they brutally repressed when they were in power. These tensions between Taliban leaders came to a head on February 29, 2020, when political leaders called for a reduction in violence in the run-up to the signing of the agreement. Instead of observing the reduction in violence, many of the country`s commanders continued to attack. While these commanders may welcome the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, they are wary of negotiating with a government in Kabul they do not trust. The agreement signed in Doha, Qatar, which follows more than a year of negotiations and ostensibly excludes the US-backed Afghan government, is not a final peace agreement, is full of ambiguities and could still be dissolved. Specifically, the agreement states that within fourteen months of signing the agreement, the United States and coalition forces will withdraw all military personnel, including military and “non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security companies, instructors, consultants, and support personnel.” The agreement also stipulates that U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be reduced to 8,600 within the first 135 days of signing the agreement and that the U.S. and the Coalition will withdraw all forces from 5 military bases, also within the first 135 days of signing the agreement.

In addition, under the agreement, the United States and coalition forces must evacuate all military bases and withdraw remaining military personnel within nine and a half months of signing the agreement, i.e. by mid-November 2020. This total reduction in U.S. and coalition forces is linked to the Taliban sticking to their share of the deal by not allowing “Afghan soil to be used against the security of the United States and its allies.” According to the agreement between the US and the Taliban, intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban and other “Afghan parties” – the current Afghan government is not explicitly mentioned in the agreement as a concession to the Taliban – are expected to begin on March 10, 2020. However, they began on September 12, 2020 in Doha, Qatar. The main reason for this delay was the haggling over the release of Taliban prisoners, which in turn was caused by a lack of clarity about what had actually been agreed. The agreement, officially entitled “Agreement for Peace in Afghanistan”, is little more than 3 pages long and is written in three languages; Dari, Pashto and English. It consists of two parts; The Taliban agree that “Afghan soil will not be used against the security of the United States and its allies,” and the United States accepts the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. The agreement was signed through a 7-day “violence reduction,” a term used instead of a “ceasefire,” a term the Taliban opposed, in part because a “ceasefire” proposed an end to hostilities to which the Taliban were unwilling to engage. While it is not clear who speaks on behalf of the Afghan government, it is also unclear who speaks on behalf of the Taliban. The Taliban are not a single unified organization, but are made up of various commanders and militias across Afghanistan, many of whom have conflicting ideas about the war and now about the peace agreement.

The Taliban leaders who negotiated the peace deal belong to the Taliban leadership group known as Quetta Shura. This group operates from Pakistan and is largely a political and economic organization. The Quetta Shura controls the highly profitable opium and heroin trade that finances the Taliban`s military operations in Afghanistan. The Quetta Shura is ruled by high-ranking Taliban, including Haibutullah Akhundzada, Mohammed Yaqub, Mohammed Omar and Abdul Ghani Baradar. But the deal leaves an unpleasant reality for the Trump administration: it signed an agreement with a movement in which an officially listed terrorist group, the Haqqani Network, known for its suicide bombing campaign, is an integral part of the leadership. The head of the network, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the deputy head and military commander of the Taliban. However, there are a number of obstacles that can prevent the full implementation of the agreement. On the one hand, the Afghan government did not participate in the negotiations. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani does not support many parts of the agreement and has spoken out against taking the next steps needed to move the peace process forward.

This includes the release of Taliban prisoners, which he has not done so far, although he has proposed a more modest release. “The gap between what the Taliban and the Afghan government expect [from a peace agreement] and what they are willing to compromise is very large,” said Afghan researcher Ibraheem Bahiss. This is the Taliban`s call for an “Islamic system” which, while unspecified, means, on the one hand, a fundamental overhaul, if not a complete change, of the current republican state and, on the other hand, the Afghan government`s willingness to protect most of the current constitution, which is vilified by the Taliban as a Western copy. He also proposed a “transitional government for peace” to guide the country through this precarious period, followed by national elections as well as a UN-led peace conference in Turkey, attended by foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States. Intra-Afghan talks began six months later than planned because there was a rift between the Afghan government and the Taliban over the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. The agreement, which was concluded on 29 September. It was signed in February 2020 and calls for the withdrawal of all US troops by May 2021, but only if the Taliban keep their promises to sever relations with terrorist groups and participate in intra-Afghan talks on a permanent ceasefire and political roadmap for Afghanistan. The new plan is full of details but full of risks. He is already facing resistance: from both the Afghan government and the Taliban; and Afghans who fear that a peace cobbled together too quickly will only aggravate this war. Finally, the agreement stipulates that the United States will begin diplomatic talks with the United Nations to remove Taliban members from the “sanctions list.” .