Us Taliban Draft Agreement

At a hearing Thursday, Cheney urged Esper and General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the joint staff chiefs, to report „secret annexes“ to the peace agreement, including direct counter-terrorism cooperation with the United States. Both abstained, but promised to inform Congress of the deal. Gaps are already emerging in the negotiation process. The exclusion of the Afghan government from the talks will complicate the implementation of the agreement. This is already the case. President Ashraf Ghani has refused to release Taliban prisoners. He stressed that his government has not accepted a prisoner exchange and that the release of Taliban prisoners cannot be a precondition for talks with the insurgent group. On March 2, the Taliban ordered their fighters to resume operations against Afghan security forces. An explosion followed shortly afterwards at a football stadium in Khost province, killing three civilians and injuring seven others.

On March 4, the United States launched a „defensive“ airstrike against Taliban fighters in Helmand in response to a series of attacks by the insurgent group throughout Afghanistan. The evolution of the agreement does not bode well for the future. „The withdrawal provisions contained in this agreement on Afghanistan appear to be much broader than had been announced. This is a total withdrawal of all US and NATO forces within 14 months,“ Brett McGurk, the government`s former special representative for the coalition against the Islamic State, said on Twitter. „This would likely lead to the gradual collapse of the state, a civil war and the Taliban in Kabul.“ The UN chief calls the deal „an important development,“ while NATO vows to implement its „adjustments based on conditions.“ 7 Mujib Mashal, the United States and the Taliban agree in principle with the peace framework, says Envoy, N.Y. Times (January 28, 2019), in www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/world/asia/taliban-peace-deal-afghanistan.html. The fight against terrorism makes no specific reference to this residual part of the agreement. Between April 29 and May 3, 2019, the Afghan government held a four-day loya jirga to discuss peace talks.

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