Trump`s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, however, responded that the deal provided for “a conditional withdrawal” that would allow the United States to take action if the Taliban did not comply with the agreement. U.S. officials made it clear at the time that the agreement was based on terms and that the failure of intra-Afghan peace talks to reach a negotiated solution would have nullified the obligation to withdraw. “The Doha agreement was a very weak agreement, and the United States should have received more concessions from the Taliban,” said Lisa Curtis, an Afghanistan expert who served as the National Security Council`s senior director for South and Central Asia under the Trump administration. It seems that this is the heart of the new US strategy with Afghanistan: the basic concept that the problem of Afghanistan is essentially an internal problem, a “national conflict” and a civil war between the parties (regional, ethnic or religious) that make up Afghan society, that such a national conflict must be reconstituted through internal negotiations, and that these internal negotiations must include an agreement with the Taliban and are in fact dominated by them. In the absence of such an internal political agreement within Afghan society, it is not for the United States to use its energy, armed forces and budget to maintain a government that does not respect its national political duty. So what exactly was agreed 18 months ago in the Qatari capital, and what role does the deal – celebrated as “historic” in Washington at the time – play in the chaos that is currently unfolding? Indeed, the dramatic situation of US forces and civilian personnel in Kabul does not reflect the position of a government that has negotiated an agreement with the current political force that controls de facto. The situation in which the evacuation of Karzai airport took place appears to be more that of an emergency evacuation from a country occupied by a hostile military power and controlled by a hostile de facto government. However, renegotiation would have been difficult.
Biden would have had little influence. Like Trump, he wanted to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. Withdrawing from the deal could have forced him to send back thousands more. The Biden administration, in fact, with some amendments, delivered under the agreement signed by the Trump administration, which had not incorporated protection in the event of non-compliance with Taliban obligations in the interest of the United States. Both parties to the agreement delivered what they had agreed on, and both administrations should take responsibility for drafting, negotiating, signing and implementing it. The initial timetable of the agreement provided for a 14-month window during which the Taliban and the Afghan government could hold talks that would ideally lead to both a political roadmap for Afghanistan`s future and a permanent ceasefire. Meanwhile, after two decades of occupation, U.S. and allied forces could plan and conduct an orderly withdrawal (the presence of U.S.
forces has decreased by about 75 percent since February 2020). However, this plan began to deviate radically from the course from the beginning. The Afghan government, which relies on the support of the United States and NATO, has had little incentive to cooperate. They blocked the start of talks for six months with disputes over the election results, the composition of their negotiating team, and the pace of release of Taliban prisoners (which the US had agreed to as part of the deal). Meanwhile, the Taliban continued their attacks on Afghan security forces, knowing that under the terms of the deal, they could turn off the clock until foreign forces withdraw. In fact, since the signing of the Doha Agreement, the Taliban have seized key military bases and highways and closed cities across the country. Talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are ongoing, but there is little progress towards a viable long-term solution for the country`s future. Meanwhile, violence continues to rise, with civilians, including prominent women, bearing the brunt of a new barrage of attacks.
With the Taliban now in control of the entire country and figures with ties to the former government touting the possible emergence of unlikely resistance in the Panjshir Valley, it remains to be seen what form future diplomacy between the Taliban and the former government might take now. .