Today, a peace deal between the government of the United States of America and the Taliban in Afghanistan is being signed. The accord, signed as part of a ceremony in Qatar, is the result of two years of negotiation. With this deal would come the end of a war which has been the longest war in the history of the USA.
The war in Afghanistan was started following the terrorist attack of the 9/11 in New York, which was attributed to the Taliban, then led by Ossama Bin-Laden some 19 years ago.
The deal is seen as a first step in bringing the Taliban to discuss with the Afghan government in Kabul. The Taliban have been refusing to do so for as long as the US army would be involved in Afghanistan. As such, a lot has still to be done before lasting peace truly happens in Afghanistan but this first agreement, in which the US army agrees to progressively pull back its troops.
The agreement is seen as a victory for both sides but also comes with significant compromises. The agreement, for example, details that the Taliban will have to sit with the Afghan government soon, and that even before the US army entirely pulls back from the country. In the past, it was the Taliban’s imperative that no negotiation with the Afghan government would begin before the US Army, which they see as an occupying force, would have left the country. Instead, now the Afghan and Taliban leaders are planning to meet within 10 to 15 days after the agreement has been signed today. On their side, the US Army is agreeing to bring the number of troops they have on Afghan soil down to 8600 from the current 12000. The Taliban, on their side, agree not to sponsor or provide shelter to terrorist groups targeting US safety and interests.
At YPT, we have been doing tours of Afghanistan for many years and it is a place that we have truly grown to love. We see this peace agreement as a great thing that will hopefully bring stability to the region and allow it to rebuild and offer us more opportunities to show you its vibrant culture and history.