US-Taliban Peace Agreement and Afghan War

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One of the most talked-about events in world politics has been the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban. The agreement called for the withdrawal of part of the US military presence in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from Afghanistan within fourteen months.

It is hoped that after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, a peace process will be launched between the warring factions in Afghanistan. But it is doubtful whether such a space exists considering history as well as the present.

The longest war

The Afghan war is considered to be the longest war in which America has been involved. They have been fighting in the country since October 2001.

We know that the history of the Afghan war goes back as far as 1978. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the United States provided military assistance to the anti-Soviet war. But at that time, the Americans did not actively participate in the war.

After the defeat of the Soviet Union, there was a conflict between the various groups that had fought against it to seize power in the country. The Taliban came to power in 1996 in the wake of the civil war.

The United States had been focusing on Afghanistan since September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The United States launched an offensive against the Taliban for protecting Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The Taliban collapsed before the end of the year.

However, Osama Bin Laden, as well as Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, fled. The United States and NATO forces were stationed in Afghanistan to find them, defeated the Taliban, and established a pro-government regime in Afghanistan.

Taliban activism spread to Pakistan, and a few years later, the organization began to re-establish itself in Afghanistan. Attempts by the US and NATO forces to control the situation were unsuccessful. The debate over the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has intensified since Donald Trump became president. Thus, in 2018, the US-Taliban talks were activated in Doha. The United States once withdrew from the talks after the Taliban attacked the US forces. But then they got back together for talks.

In this case, it was agreed to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan from 14,000 to 8,600, and the remaining US and NATO forces would be phased out.

Taliban victory?

The agreement is said to be a victory for the Taliban. Especially in this process, the Afghan government seems to have been weakened by its indifference.

Afghan governments that emerged after the fall of the Taliban faced significant challenges in consolidating power. Some have described former President Hamid Karzai as the mayor of Kabul. There was a time when the rule of the Afghan government was so limited.

Even today, there are apparent issues about President Ashraf Ghani. In particular, he was re-elected for a second term, but opposition groups said the election was corrupt. 

It also called for a feeling of lasting peace through talks between Afghan parties, but there are still questions about how that should happen. One reason is that in addition to the government and the Taliban, local warlords are also interested. There may also be controversy over the terms of the initial talks between the Taliban and the government.

Even now, there are indications that there are problems in this regard. An example of this was the conflict of over 5,000 Taliban prisoners in Afghan custody. The Taliban say the prisoners should be released following US-Taliban talks. But the government says it is an issue that needs to be resolved in talks between itself and the Taliban, not a precondition for talks.

Meanwhile, on March 4, the US Air Force launched airstrikes on Taliban targets in the Afghan province of Helmand. The attack came 11 days later. The United States declared as the response to Taliban attacks in the area.

There is a fear that it will be decided on the strength of Afghanistan’s internal military strength thus again as there is uncertainty about future discussions.

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