Despite such problems, a peace agreement preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism would allow the United States to withdraw its troops and reduce its security and development assistance, which exceeded $800 billion between 2001 and 2019. An agreement is particularly desirable, as the United States focuses on competition with China and Russia and the United States is addressing the budgetary pressure exerted by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). “The Taliban will not allow any of their members, individuals or any group, including Al Qaeda, to use Afghanistan soil to threaten the security of the United States and its allies,” the agreement says. This is not the only potential point of friction. In both the peace agreement and the joint declaration, the United States committed to reducing “the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan” to 8,600 over a 135-day period and to withdraw all allied forces from the United States and the United States over the next nine and a half months. But in the joint statement between the United States and Afghanistan, the United States subordinated the two actions to “the Implementation by the Taliban of Their Obligations.” This essential clause does not exist in the United States Taliban peace agreement. Despite the Security Council resolution, the peace agreement and the joint declaration, the role of the UN party in Afghanistan remains unclear after the withdrawal of the United States and the coalition. Richard Gowan, UN director at the International Crisis Group, an independent international conflict research organization, told us: “We need a neutral mediator to lead internal talks in Afghanistan. It is not necessarily a UN envoy, but the Security Council could support a mediator and the UN secretariat could support the process. We believe that a role of the united parties in the next phase of the process is not essential, but it would give additional international credibility to the talks. The United States will also lift sanctions against the Taliban and cooperate with the United Nations to lift separate sanctions against the group. One way to do this would be to prevent negotiating teams from agreeing on issues such as political power-sharing agreements (including national, provincial or regional), the Afghan constitution, the role of religion, women`s rights, persistent violence, the return of prisoners and upcoming elections.
The February 2020 agreement between the United States and the Taliban did not address these issues in a serious way and potentially poses enormous challenges. As part of the agreement, the militants also agreed not to allow al Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control.