A big, bad deal: On US-Taliban agreement

2020-03-02 | 3 minutes

Context: On 29th February, the US has signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in Doha.


  • In 2001, the US has attacked the Taliban after September 2001 (9/11) attacks. Later, the Taliban was driven out of power.
  • After being driven out of power, the Taliban tried to destabilize Afghan governments and started working as an insurgent organization.
  • In 2014, International troops, except the US ended their combat operations in Afghanistan. But, they continued to train the forces of Afghanistan.
  • In December 2018, the Taliban had announced to talk with the US for peace in Afghanistan. But, it declined to talk with the Afghan government.
  • Now, the US and Taliban have signed an agreement that is aimed at bringing peace in Afghanistan.

Key features of agreement between US and Taliban: The agreement between the US and Taliban has been signed after a period of 19 years since the US launched an attack on the Taliban in 2001. With the help of the agreement, the US aims to bring peace in Afghanistan. Important details about the agreement are provided below.

  • Withdrawing of troops: As part of the agreement, the number of US troops, NATO troops or other coalition troops will be lowered, and all troops will be withdrawn fully within 14 months.
  • No support to cross-border terrorist organizations: Under the agreement, the Taliban will not allow the use of soil of Afghanistan by cross-border terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda.
  • Removal of sanctions imposed on Taliban: The agreement fixes a three-month deadline for removal of UN sanctions on Taliban leaders. The deadline for the removal of US sanctions is August 27.
  • Release of prisoners: Under the agreement, the Taliban will release 1,000 prisoners belonging to the Afghan security force by 10 March. In exchange, 5000 prisoners belonging to the Taliban will be released.

After the agreement, the Taliban will directly talk with the Afghan government to find a solution to civil war in Afghanistan. The talks between the two will begin on 10 March. 

Criticisms of agreement:

Agreement does not include Afghanistan government: Afghanistan government has been kept out of the agreement between the US and the Taliban. As the Taliban has tried to destabilize the government, the exclusion of the government from the agreement raises doubt over its legitimacy.

The agreement gives excessive concessions to Taliban: Before signing the agreement, Taliban and the US have agreed for a reduction of violence period that lasted only seven days. In agreement, the US has agreed to remove troops. Taliban had agreed that it would not allow terrorist groups to use Afghan soil and talk with the Kabul government to find a solution to civil war. Seven days ceasefire declaration by an organization that has remained violent for a long time is not enough.

The agreement leaves Afghan people at the mercy of Taliban: Taliban has followed strict laws based on religion. It is known for not allowing a woman in public life and closing schools. In the agreement, the Taliban has not agreed to respect the civil liberties of the people or accept the Constitution of Afghanistan. Thus, the agreement leaves people of Afghanistan at the mercy of Taliban.  


An examination of the US-Taliban agreement shows that the US has agreed to withdraw troops without making the Afghanistan government a participant in a deal that aims to bring peace in Afghanistan. The agreement puts the Taliban in a strong position and current Afghanistan government in a disadvantageous position as it grants an excessive concession to the Taliban and leaves people of Afghanistan at the mercy of this violent and insurgent organization.


Afghanistan (Geographical Features):

  • It is a landlocked country.
  • It is surrounded by Pakistan on east and south.
  • Iran lies on west side of Afghanistan.
  • Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are located on north side of Afghanistan.Afghanistan Map
  • China is located on northeast of Afghanistan.
  • Its highest peak is Noshaq. Noshaq is second highest peak of Hindukush range.
  • Wakhan Corridor lies in Afghanistan. It separates Tajikistan from Pakistan.
  • Sistan Basin lies in Afghanistan and Iran.

Amu River lies in north of Afghanistan.