Agreement Signed with Taliban

International aid. Dozens of countries continue to provide aid to Afghanistan, with 75 percent of the government`s public spending currently covered by grants from international partners, according to a World Bank report. The report warns that Afghanistan will continue to need billions of dollars in aid in the coming years. Some experts believe the aid could be used as leverage to keep the Taliban in negotiations with the Afghan government. When Biden took power, there were only 3,500 US troops left in the country (compared to a peak of 100,000 during the Obama years). He postponed the planned withdrawal date of May 1 to four months later, but he kept the deal intact. U.S. troops reportedly withdrew from Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. For both presidents, the peace deal with the Taliban provided a good opportunity to pursue their own agendas regarding america`s longest war. And none of them seemed to regret it in particular. U.S. Supreme Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad signed on behalf of the United States.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a current Taliban MP and a figure in the original Taliban government, signed for the Taliban. The two shook hands as the room burst out in jubilation. There are a number of assumptions that the agreement makes that are problematic. On the one hand, the Afghan government was neither part of the negotiations nor a signatory to the final agreement. Although US Ambassador Zalmay Khaililzad made an effort to keep Afghan President Ashraf Ghani informed and on board, the Afghan government became increasingly alarmed and angry during the talks that it was excluded from discussions about the future of his own country. The fact that the Afghan government or its representatives were not allowed to participate in the negotiations came at the urging of the Taliban, who argued that the current government in Afghanistan was not a legitimate government, but a puppet of the United States. Whether this is true or not is debatable, but the Taliban have prevailed over this issue. Although these leaders wield enormous power within the Taliban, they have little or no military experience and are therefore suspicious of commanders on the ground. These commanders are usually younger than the Shura of Quetta, mostly between the ages of 20 and 30. Many operate in remote and hostile areas of Afghanistan with few links or instructions from Taliban leaders in Quetta. After all, the real success of the Taliban lies in the military success of these local commanders in Afghanistan.

Thanks to the work of these regional commanders, the Taliban now control nearly 50% of the Afghan countryside. They are the heart of the Taliban and many have different views on what a peace deal with the United States should be. Under the agreement signed on February 29 in Doha, Qatar, the United States committed to a gradual and conditional withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan within 14 months of signing the agreement. The withdrawal of U.S. troops – some 12,000 are still in Afghanistan – depends on the Taliban meeting important commitments that have been obstacles for years, including severing ties with international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. In particular, the agreement stipulates 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 from the services.” The agreement also stipulates that U.S. armed 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, according to the agreement, the United States and coalition forces must evacuate all military bases and withdraw the 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 depends on the Taliban sticking to their part of the deal by not allowing “Afghan soil to be used against the security of the United States and its allies.” Regional neighbors have significant corrupt power and must continue to support a peace agreement. Ambassador Khalilzad`s success rests in part on finding a starting point among various regional players such as China, Pakistan, Iran and Russia, who do not want a permanent US military presence, but also fear the chaos that would accompany an abrupt withdrawal. Regional actors also fear a complete Taliban takeover of the country, but do not believe that the Taliban can be defeated militarily. This creates the conditions for regional support for intra-Afghan negotiations. As long as talks progress toward a power-sharing agreement among Afghans in which U.S.

troops withdraw with stability, regional powers could urge their proxies to stay at the table instead of spoiling a deal. India. New Delhi is a strong supporter of the Afghan government and has provided $3 billion since 2001 to develop infrastructure and promote business in Afghanistan. Its main objectives are to minimize Pakistan`s influence and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for anti-Indian militants. The Indian government has not supported U.S. efforts to reach an agreement with the Taliban and has not agreed to legitimize the group as a political actor. The signing of the “Agreement to Bring Peace to Afghanistan” is the result of a long and difficult process to end this long and catastrophic war. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and his team have spent several years getting to the point where U.S. officials could sit down with Taliban representatives.

It is now clear that U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan. President Trump`s promise to end the war and bring troops home has been kept. It`s important to remember that by the time Trump took office, the public debate over whether he should stay in Afghanistan was largely over. Most Americans were done with the war. Even the military realized that it could not make many more changes on the current path. “The only way forward was a political deal,” Mark T. Esper, Trump`s former defense secretary, said recently. “Not a military solution.” Russia. Moscow hopes to revive relations with Afghanistan, which were frayed when it withdrew from the country in 1989 after its decades of occupation. Experts say Russia wants to play a leading role in the peace process and expand its influence in Afghanistan to counter the US and NATO presence in the region. It has hosted several meetings between Taliban delegations and Afghan representatives over the past year.

Above all, the agreement between the United States and the Taliban contains no commitment beyond the agenda or the outcome of intra-Afghan negotiations beyond the release of prisoners and the discussion of a comprehensive ceasefire. The agreement states that a withdrawal of US troops, Taliban counterterrorism guarantees, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan negotiations “are interconnected and will each be implemented according to their own timetable and conditions”; but no timetable and conditions are mentioned. The Taliban didn`t even wait for the Americans to withdraw completely before taking control of the country in a matter of days. As the world watched the fall of Kabul, Biden defended his decision not to stay and not fight, saying Trump`s deal required him to maintain the withdrawal or intensify fighting. Considering that it took nine rounds of negotiations over more than a year, the agreement between the United States and the Taliban is remarkably short and vague. There is no public definition of several key concepts or terms. Lisa Curtis, a former senior National Security Council official who sat next to Afghan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad during negotiations with the Taliban, told AP: “The Doha agreement was a very weak agreement, and the United States. should have received more concessions from the Taliban. The United States and the Taliban signed an agreement in February 2020 that called for the opening of peace talks between the two Afghan sides in March. .

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