Even in the description of Al Qaeda in the agreement, the Taliban refused to accept the word “terrorist.” The language focuses on the Taliban`s commitment to prevent future attacks and not on the regrets of the past. “I really think the Taliban want to do something to show that we`re not all wasting our time,” President Trump said hours after the agreement was signed in Washington. “If bad things happen, we`ll go back.” Retaliation against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies was the catalyst for the American invasion. But it is a sense of defeat that may have best translated into the U.S. acceptance of relatively minor concessions by the Taliban in the agreement that has fuelled the efforts of successive governments to find a way out. Khalilzad, the experienced diplomat who leads U.S. peace efforts and is himself a native of Afghanistan, has long insisted that the United States is not seeking a withdrawal agreement, but “a peace agreement allowing withdrawal.” The agreement sets a timetable for the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the impoverished Central Asian country once unknown to many Americans and now a symbol of endless conflicts, foreign entanglements and an incubator of terrorist plots. But the fact that some hopes could eventually end the Taliban insurgency, the militant movement that once ruled Afghanistan under a strict Islamic code, is seen as a step toward negotiating a broader agreement.
The agreement also depends on tougher negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government over the country`s future. Officials hope the talks will lead to a power-sharing agreement and a lasting ceasefire, but both ideas have been an abomination for the Taliban in the past. After more than a year of talks, the agreement sets the beginning of the end of the longest U.S. war. But there are still many obstacles. “The agreement means nothing – and today`s good feelings will not be sustainable – if we do not take concrete steps to meet the commitments made and the commitments promised,” Pompeo said. Esper stressed that if the Taliban did not operate, “the United States would not hesitate to cancel the agreement.” But the deal leaves an unpleasant reality for the Trump administration: it signed an agreement with a movement in which an officially listed terrorist group, the Haqqani network, known for its suicide bombing campaign, is an integral part of the leadership. The head of the network, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the deputy leader and military commander of the Taliban. Although the Taliban received their main wish under the agreement – the withdrawal of American troops – they remained vague in their obligations to protect the civil rights they had brutally repressed when they were in power.
The agreement signed in Doha, Qatar, which followed more than a year of stop and launch negotiations and has effectively excluded the U.S.-backed Afghan government as not a definitive peace agreement, is full of ambiguities and risks dissolving.