Nahla Abdel Moneim
By signing the historic peace agreement with the Taliban, the United States claimed that it would be a prelude to establishing peace and security in the region, as well as reducing the chances of terrorist recruitment for extremist Islamist groups in Afghanistan, but months after the agreement, the issue has witnessed varying stages of bloody political conflict.
Results of negotiations
After months of tug of war between the Taliban and the Afghan government, Washington succeeded in bringing the warring parties together at the negotiating table in Doha, which is one of the most important provisions of the American agreement.
This scene resulted in many variables that were mainly related to the conditions of the current political consensus. The course of US negotiations with the Taliban has witnessed several requirements from the hard-line movement, most prominently related to the issue of internal dialogue with the government. First, the movement refused to have the government represented in negotiations with Washington before completing the agreement between them and wanted to negotiate unilaterally, which is what the US government agreed to.
Secondly, after the conclusion of the agreement in February 2019, the Taliban stipulated that negotiations with the Afghan government should not take place at the beginning of the transitional phase until after the government releases of all its prisoners, which Washington pressed for in the interest of the movement and in favor of coordinating the situation in Afghanistan in accordance with Trump’s agenda.
Expanded Taliban control
Consequently, the result of this seems understandable, as it is likely that the Taliban will gain a wider swath to rule the country during the next stage, given its power on the ground and the gains it obtained in return for what the government lost in terms of American sponsorship and domestic strength. Accordingly, what Washington has advanced in terms of reducing terrorism seems flimsy, because what happened will trigger wider recruitment for the Taliban, as it will be the strongest on the ground unless Washington sees an interest in weakening al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile, Foreign Policy reported on September 24, that it had monitored an increase in the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, as young people are looking for a wider role in the movement if it comes to power. This comes after they saw the weakness of the government in Kabul, which the magazine attributed to the abandonment by the US government.
Rates of violence and Taliban escalation
The state of domestic turmoil in Afghanistan appears to be accelerating the current pace of operations between the Taliban and the government despite recent pleas for a ceasefire, but the Taliban views its successive attacks as a pressure card to highlight the extent of its influence and control on the ground. Therefore, the US agreement has not led to the establishment of peace in the region.
Ali Bakr, a researcher of extremist movements at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, believes that the movement’s implementation of offensive operations during negotiations, whether foreign or domestic, is a political pressure card to achieve its goals.
Bakr pointed out in a statement to the Reference that the Taliban’s chances of ruling Afghanistan are greater than any other political faction. This represents a great opportunity for them that they will not give up easily, which is fueling a flare-up of the situation in the region.
Taliban and foreign relations opportunities
This also affects the foreign relations of Afghanistan and the Taliban in general. If the countries opposed to the United States deal with the movement and recognize it at some point, then the Taliban could have fierce battles with Washington. So what comes after the agreement with regard to China and Russia and the policies they adopt against political Islamist movements?
In this regard, Nourhan al-Sheikh, professor of political science at Cairo University, suggested in a previous statement to the Reference that the Taliban’s arrival to power with American understandings will make it difficult for Russia and China to cooperate with it.