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Analysis of Afghan deal between United States and Taliban on withdrawal of US Troops (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; IOBR)

Source: The Indian Express

 Drafted last week, the agreement sets out a timeline for withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. It is not a peace deal, the onus for which lies with the Afghan government.

What are the challenges it faces?
The United States and Taliban have reached a deal for American troops to withdraw from Afghanistan. Last weekend, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul to present details of the deal to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.

What have they agreed on?
Taliban and US government have reached an agreement “in principle” that the United States would withdraw some 5,000 troops within 135 days or five months starting from the signing of the agreement.

The draft agreement, which was reached after nine rounds of talks between Khalilzad, US diplomat and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, is for the US troops to withdraw from five bases in this period. There appears to be no timeline yet for the withdrawal of the remaining 14,000 troops but a period of 14 months has been mentioned in the past. Trump said at one time that some 8,000 troops would remain.

In return for the withdrawal agreed upon, the Taliban are said to have committed to not allow “enemies of the US” — namely Daesh/ISIS and Al Qaeda — to set up base in Afghanistan.

Is this expected to usher in peace?
Earlier, it was expected that the US would get the Taliban to agree to a ceasefire. But that is not on the cards. Instead, the only expectation now is for a “reduction in violence” in some areas.



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