The United States also has influence over the government and the Taliban through its money. Those who govern Afghanistan need the help of foreign donors, and nothing in the agreements signed this week commits at certain levels beyond a promise made by the United States to the Afghan government that it will „seek funds every year that… Afghan security forces to enable Afghanistan to secure and defend itself independently. The fact that U.S. civilian support almost always collapses when American troops leave a theater should give the Taliban a break to be cautious about what they want. A final peace agreement and the possible withdrawal of U.S. forces remain important priorities. The United States has deployed combat troops to Afghanistan for nearly two decades and has urgent interests in Afghanistan and abroad – including the fight and recovery of COVID-19 and competition from major powers like Russia and China. But the Americans must be aware that peace negotiations are likely to be long and difficult. As tempting as it is to withdraw U.S. forces without agreement, it would be a mistake, especially if it is the Taliban`s fault. Withdrawing the United States from Afghanistan without a peace agreement would significantly increase the level of violence in Afghanistan, risk a growing regional war, provoke a humanitarian crisis, allow an Islamist extremist group to invade Kabul, and raise serious questions among allies about the reliability of the United States.
In such an environment, the whole premise of internal peace talks is questioned and potentially useless. We have already seen this in Afghanistan and elsewhere: between obligations to limit or cease violence and the final implementation of agreements, violence can increase, as either party attempts to change the facts on the ground to gain a relative advantage over formal compliance. No one should be surprised that the Taliban are attacking Afghan government forces. The agreement between the United States and the Taliban did not encourage them not to do so, so of course we are already bombing the Taliban in Helmand province. Related Content Order from Chaos On Afghanistan, give peace a chance – but be wary of the Taliban Michael E.