After the United States and the Taliban ended the latest round of peace talks, President Trump listened to the briefing on August 16. However, there are still many important issues in the draft of the peace agreement that are not mentioned or not resolved immediately.
US officials expect the peace agreement to mention the Taliban’s willingness to talk to the Afghan government. The draft also refers to the Taliban’s willingness to have a clear connection with the withdrawal of the United States. However, the Taliban has been refusing to start negotiations with Afghan officials and believe that the other side is the United States. It is still unknown whether the Taliban’s position will change.
Although the agreement submitted by the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, referred to the ceasefire, the date of the ceasefire agreement or ceasefire was not clearly stated. Only the relevant details will be discussed by the Taliban and the Afghan government. If the peace agreement does not include details of the ceasefire, Afghanistan fears that the war will continue. Foreign experts also estimate that the Afghan defense forces will not be able to withstand the Taliban attacks.
Regarding the issue of withdrawal, US officials said that the 5,000 garrison would be withdrawn at the beginning and will be fully withdrawn within the next 18 months, but there was no mention of retaining a small number of counter-terrorism units in Afghanistan against other Islamic organizations. Taliban officials have repeatedly stressed that they will not accept any peace agreement until a timetable for full withdrawal.
The US government has stated that it hopes the Taliban will clear relations with all Islamic terrorist organizations, including ISIS. But the current agreement of US officials seems to refer only to al Qaeda.
The last unresolved issue was the general election held in Afghanistan on September 28. The re-elected President Ashraf Ghani insisted on holding as scheduled, but the Taliban have threatened to launch attacks on assembly and ticketing stations. US officials said that if they reach a US peace agreement and hope to postpone the general election, they should also be reserved for discussion between the Taliban and the Afghan government.