However, it will not be easy to reach an acceptable peace agreement. It is not clear whether the Taliban take a deal seriously or that their leaders are negotiating to persuade U.S. troops to withdraw so that Taliban troops can overthrow the Afghan government. Even if the Taliban negotiate in good faith, important issues must be resolved, from political power sharing to the role of Islam and women`s rights. Finally, the agreement stipulates that the United States will begin diplomatic talks with the United Nations to remove Taliban members from the “sanctions list.” That is why the Afghan government was not a party to the agreement between the United States and the Taliban. Instead, the February 2020 agreement only committed the Taliban to negotiate directly with the Afghans. However, there are a number of hooks that can prevent the full implementation of the agreement. On the one hand, the Afghan government was not involved in the negotiations. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has not supported many parts of the agreement and has opposed the need for the next steps to move the peace process forward. This includes the release of Taliban prisoners, which he has not done so far, although he has proposed a more modest release. U.S.
Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter that the two sides had agreed on a “tripartite agreement that codifies the rules and procedures of their negotiations on a political roadmap and a comprehensive ceasefire.” Despite such problems, a peace agreement preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism would allow the United States to withdraw its troops and reduce its security and development assistance, which exceeded $800 billion between 2001 and 2019. An agreement is particularly desirable, as the United States focuses on competition with China and Russia and the United States is addressing the budgetary pressure exerted by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The second path to a failure of an agreement involves a situation in which internal peace talks begin, but either negotiations are suspended or the implementation of an interim agreement faces serious problems. Initially, Afghan President Ghani announced that he would not release Taliban prisoners, but by March 15, 2020, a few days after the start of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, he announced the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners. He also insisted that any freed Taliban detainee was required to sign an agreement in which he pledged not to return to the fighting.