Yesterday, the Trump administration signed a peace deal with the Islamic Emirate of Afganistan (Taliban). The agreement is supposed to end the longest war in our history that was waged by the Bush administration in 2001 as a response to the tragedy of September 11.
The Afganistan war has diverted from its declared objective, lacked a clear plan, wasted billions of our tax dollars and destroyed so many innocent lives from both sides. Moreover, our presence in Afganistan has undermined our national security instead of strengthening it and became more of an occupation rather than a peace mission. I believe that our government’s real objective was not fighting Al Qaeda; for our government’s history of partnership with the Afghan mujahdeen that goes back to Jimmy Carter, for our government’s negligence to take measures against the largest sponsor of Al Qaeda in the world: Saudi Arabia, and finally for our government’s policy toward Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria. Rather, it appears that our presence in Afganistan has a strong relation to its strategic position between what used to be parts of the soviet union and Iran.
Regardless, while I applaud every effort that could bring our troops home and end our presence in Afghanistan, I do not think that this agreement would achieve that for the following:
1- Despite the false ascription by some media outlets, this deal is not a treaty. The assertion that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not recognized by our government but rather it is an agreement with the Taliban who control approximately half of Afghanistan, shows that this deal cannot be qualified to be a treaty.
2- The agreement has a contradictory language. In the preemption, the agreement states that the obligations of Taliban in this agreement “apply in areas under their control” and in other parts, the language read “the soil of Afghanistan” and ” Taliban will prevent any group or individual in Afghanistan”.
3- The agreement is conditioning the full withdrawal of our troops on part two of the agreement that has a contradictory language and plenty of excuses to break it. Kabul is already leveraging the prisoner’s release, saying the US had no authority to agree to it.
4- The full withdrawal is also conditioned on the success of the Intra-Afghan negotiations that are scheduled to start on March 10th.
5- The current Afghan government is very weak and unorganized. Conditioning the agreement on the Intra-Afghan negotiation means that any failure that could result from a party other than the Taliban, could revoke the peace agreement. Abdullah is the republic Chief Executive and the second-place candidate in the presidential election who started taking over the northern provinces is now disputing Ghani’s right to appoint the negotiating team
Our government must withdraw our troops unconditionally and allow the UN Security Council to monitor the situation and intervene if needed.