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US-Taliban Relations

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

The Taliban


The Taliban started in 1994 by a bunch of students taught traditional Muslim education and values. A part of this education included Salafism, given its prevalence in the region during the Soviet-Afghan War. I talked a little bit about Salafism in a previous post and there is a lot to the concept but I focus on the political aspect; the political aspect is that Muslim countries should be free from foreign interference, especially non-Muslim interference. America, being a non-Muslim foreign country interfering in the country is why organizations such as the Taliban are fighting us.


Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the lead Taliban negotiator, center, after signing an agreement with the United States during a ceremony in Doha, Qatar,

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, right, the leader of the Taliban delegation, and Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan, shake hands after signing an agreement at a ceremony between members of Afghanistan’s Taliban and the United States in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29.

US-Taliban Peace Deal (2020)


Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan

between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States

as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America


February 29, 2020

which corresponds to Rajab 5, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar

and Hoot 10, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar


A comprehensive peace agreement is made of four parts:


1. Guarantees and enforcement mechanisms that will prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by

any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies.


2. Guarantees, enforcement mechanisms, and announcement of a timeline for the withdrawal of

all foreign forces from Afghanistan.


3. After the announcement of guarantees for a complete withdrawal of foreign forces and timeline

in the presence of international witnesses, and guarantees and the announcement in the presence

of international witnesses that Afghan soil will not be used against the security of the United

States and its allies, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United

States as a state and is known as the Taliban will start intra-Afghan negotiations with Afghan

sides on March 10, 2020, which corresponds to Rajab 15, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and

Hoot 20, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar.


4. A permanent and comprehensive ceasefire will be an item on the agenda of the intra-Afghan

dialogue and negotiations. The participants of intra-Afghan negotiations will discuss the date

and modalities of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, including joint implementation

mechanisms, which will be announced along with the completion and agreement over the future

political roadmap of Afghanistan.


The four parts above are interrelated and each will be implemented in accordance with its own agreed

timeline and agreed terms. Agreement on the first two parts paves the way for the last two parts.


Following is the text of the agreement for the implementation of parts one and two of the above. Both

sides agree that these two parts are interconnected. The obligations of the Islamic Emirate of

Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban in this

agreement apply in areas under their control until the formation of the new post-settlement Afghan

Islamic government as determined by the intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations.


PART ONE


The United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States,

its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security

contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within fourteen (14) months following

announcement of this agreement, and will take the following measures in this regard:

. II

A. The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will take the following measures in the first one

hundred thirty-five (135) days:


1) They will reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to eight thousand six hundred

(8,600) and proportionally bring reduction in the number of its allies and Coalition

forces.


2) The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will withdraw all their forces from five

(5) military bases.


B. With the commitment and action on the obligations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which

is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban in Part Two of this

agreement, the United States, its allies, and the Coalition will execute the following:


1) The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will complete withdrawal of all remaining

forces from Afghanistan within the remaining nine and a half (9.5) months.


2) The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will withdraw all their forces from

remaining bases.


C. The United States is committed to start immediately to work with all relevant sides on a plan

to expeditiously release combat and political prisoners as a confidence building measure with

the coordination and approval of all relevant sides. Up to five thousand (5,000) prisoners of

the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and

is known as the Taliban and up to one thousand (1,000) prisoners of the other side will be

released by March 10, 2020, the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations, which corresponds to

Rajab 15, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Hoot 20, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar.

The relevant sides have the goal of releasing all the remaining prisoners over the course of the

subsequent three months. The United States commits to completing this goal. The Islamic

Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known

as the Taliban commits that its released prisoners will be committed to the responsibilities

mentioned in this agreement so that they will not pose a threat to the security of the United

States and its allies.


D. With the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the United States will initiate an administrative

review of current U.S. sanctions and the rewards list against members of the Islamic Emirate of

Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban

with the goal of removing these sanctions by August 27, 2020, which corresponds to Muharram

8, 1442 on the Hijri Lunar calendar and Saunbola 6, 1399 on the Hijri Solar calendar.


E. With the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the United States will start diplomatic engagement

with other members of the United Nations Security Council and Afghanistan to remove

members of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as

a state and is known as the Taliban from the sanctions list with the aim of achieving this

objective by May 29, 2020, which corresponds to Shawwal 6, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar calendar

and Jawza 9, 1399 on the Hijri Solar calendar. . III


F. The United States and its allies will refrain from the threat or the use of force against the

territorial integrity or political independence of Afghanistan or intervening in its domestic

affairs.



PART TWO


In conjunction with the announcement of this agreement, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is

not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban will take the following steps

to prevent any group or individual, including al-Qa’ida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten

the security of the United States and its allies:


1. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and

is known as the Taliban will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including

al-Qa’ida, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its

allies.


2. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and

is known as the Taliban will send a clear message that those who pose a threat to the security

of the United States and its allies have no place in Afghanistan, and will instruct members of

the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and

is known as the Taliban not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of

the United States and its allies.


3. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and

is known as the Taliban will prevent any group or individual in Afghanistan from threatening

the security of the United States and its allies, and will prevent them from recruiting, training,

and fundraising and will not host them in accordance with the commitments in this agreement.


4. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and

is known as the Taliban is committed to deal with those seeking asylum or residence in

Afghanistan according to international migration law and the commitments of this agreement,

so that such persons do not pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies.


5. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and

is known as the Taliban will not provide visas, passports, travel permits, or other legal

documents to those who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies to enter

Afghanistan.


PART THREE

1. The United States will request the recognition and endorsement of the United Nations Security

Council for this agreement.

. IV

2. The United States and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United

States as a state and is known as the Taliban seek positive relations with each other and expect

that the relations between the United States and the new post-settlement Afghan Islamic

government as determined by the intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations will be positive.


3. The United States will seek economic cooperation for reconstruction with the new post-

settlement Afghan Islamic government as determined by the intra-Afghan dialogue and

negotiations, and will not intervene in its internal affairs.



Signed in Doha, Qatar on February 29, 2020, which corresponds to Rajab 5, 1441 on the Hijri Lunar

calendar and Hoot 10, 1398 on the Hijri Solar calendar, in duplicate, in Pashto, Dari, and English

languages, each text being equally authentic.



Current Events


There is a lot of news right now about the Taliban following the US' announcement of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in April of 2021. Several cities have been taken over by the Taliban and the capital, Kabul, is under siege as I write this; without foreign military aid it looks like Kabul will be captured.


There have been several maps showing slightly different controlling regions, but the consensus is that the Taliban has taken over the majority of the country rapidly and will take the rest of the country potentially before the year's end, if no foreign interference occurs by then.


The Trump and Biden administrations did warn of such an outcome but did not expect such rapid gains by the Taliban as many cities and towns are surrendering without a fight and the Afghan President was forced to flee the country.


The US embassy in Kabul has been fully evacuated and we might not have an embassy in Afghanistan for a while, but the US is still remaining neutral as all of this is going down. Any action against the Taliban now would force US troops to return and the war continued which is not the goal of the Biden administration as President Biden has made it clear that the war will be over by September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001.


What Now?


The question now is what should the US do? Below is a list of actions I think the US should take to secure peace and to lessen the negative externalities of a Taliban takeover.


  1. Finish the troop withdraw

  2. Recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan

  3. Set up an embassy and open talks with the new regime to further peace talks

  4. Use aid as a bargaining chip to maintain human rights protections in the country

  5. Have open talks with Taliban-recognized nations such as Pakistan, to stabilize and de-radicalize the country as to not become a threat to neighboring nations. (Include the Taliban in these talks to not make the Taliban think that these talks is an anti-Taliban coalition)

The failure of US intervention is self evident, the Taliban take over of the entire country is inevitable, and the future of the people of the nation and region is unknown; given this reality, US military restraint is paramount, so is peace talks. However, the Biden administration as made statements of forcing Afghanistan isolation if the Taliban were to take over fully. This is an issue as neighboring nations such as China and Pakistan have announced that they would recognize a Taliban controlled government.


Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section; this is a serious topic that no one should take lightly and this is a difficult topic where I and probably no one else has a perfect solution.

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