On February 29th 2020 to the amazement of the world, the United States of America signed a historic peace deal with with Afghanistan. It was historic because of the very fact that Afghanistan reached a deal with the USA, but also because it was a leap year. Meaning that just as individuals who have a birthday on the 29th of February, don’t get to celebrate on the actual date of February 29th every year, the same is with this deal. Which I think is appropriate to say. A day after the peace deal was signed, there was a rebuke from the International Criminal Court (ICC), and a terrorist attack by ISIS-K on March 6th 2020. Upon an innocent memorial shrine, revered by the Shia Muslims. Which could also be thought of as reactions to the agreement for peace.
There are weigh-ins of the pros and cons of any peace deal with Afghanistan, one would have to first know what the deal is, how it was reached, and why there are set backs. I would commend U.S.A. efforts for peace diplomacy, as well as State Departments utterance of the heart-break that the deal was not desired. But I think that the set-backs or halts should really be viewed as an opportunity to re-examine, and think what a withdrawal, if any would look like.
From the start of a Trump Administration, President Trump has always said he wants troops to come home from Afghanistan deployment. It goes without saying that any kind of foreign service and intervention costs money. We could align his stance to that of Brexit, where the U.K. withdrawal was also associated with the costs of membership to the European Union (EU). But what differs is the mission. Why is and does America decide to remain in Afghanistan? Military troops were sent to Afghanistan after the September 9/11 attacks. As the mission was war on terror. We can think about how the mission has changed, evolved or not throughout the years. If deals are being made for peace, then it is obvious that peace is desired. But for strong peaceful relations to begin and flourish, peace has to arise from all sides.
Supporters of President Trump’s withdrawal agree that: “the President is right to want to end the U.S. combat role in the ‘forever war’ and to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. As he put it, ‘I inherited a total mess in Syria and Afghanistan, the ‘endless wars’ of unlimited spending and death” (Blackwill, 2019, p. 49). Critics argue that, “the United States should stay the course for as long as it takes to end the Taliban military threat” (2019, p. 50). However, the U.S.A. does not and has not sought to eliminate theTaliban but actually, Al’ Qaida. Alliance with the Taliban is reiterated as the recent deal is between: The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which is recognized as the Taliban by the United States of America.
The new peace deal includes a slow removal of U.S.A troops, a guarantee of a ceasefires, and the release of Afghan prisoners, as a mechanism to build trust. The agreement is reciprocal or allied in the sense that Afghanistan will assist the United States of America and Vice-Versa. For any security threats to the USA, Allies and Afghanistan. The desire for building peace includes the creation, co-operation and reconstruction with the new post-settlement Afghanistan” (Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan, 2020, p. IV). The agreement could be viewed similar to a pilot study, where there is a desire to understand and see if the peace agreement will work. In my view, I think that the agreement is positive for supporters and critics of a withdrawal from Afghanistan. As there will be a reduction in USA military forces, but with the inclusion of a USA military presence to approximately 8,600. I continue to believe that a USA military presence is vital for peace, protection and security from emerging threats and terrorist activities. The leadership of Afghanistan and America must work together to ensure that an agreement can be successful. Which ensures that USA, Allies and Afghanistan are secure. Secure from internal or external threats. Al-Qaida remains a threat to the USA and its allies. Which is truly unfortunate, especially if peace is desired from the Afghan people as well.
This agreement was welcomed by: “Special representatives of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States of America” (U.S. Department of State, February 29th, 2020). As an obstruction to this agreement on March 5th 2020, the International Criminal Court (ICC), ordered an investigation for the “alleged activities of the Taliban and U.S. and Afghan personnel related to Afghanistan” (U.S. Department of State, March 5th 2020). A similar response was also presented on April 12th, 2019. The United States Administration was heart broken over the ICC actions; which was actually a historical day for peace between two nations, witnessed by many. Whilst the USA has rebuked the actions / stance of the court, we can and should remain hopeful for this deal of peace. Which is a first historic step. So amidst chaos emerges serenity. Let’s be hopeful and confident that utopia is just beyond the horizon. And that a day will be set aside every year to celebrate the anniversary of a historic deal signed on February 29th 2020.
Progress: Since the signing of the peace agreement and or retaliation actions, the USA has welcomed the Inauguration of the Afghan President Ghani. President Ghani will work towards the formation of Intra-Afghan negations and the release of prisoners.
A Peace Agreement and Coronavirus: Coronavirus – COVID19 virus is at the forefront of news media, taking an affect and toll upon human life at the international levels. Health and keeping safe from infection is becoming a priority. In my view this virus has taught us the very importance of human health, a reminder of the wealth of health. And that for any negotiation for disagreement / agreement one must also be healthy. As human survival, the desire to survive always presides.
Congratulations! I continue to commend the USA and State Department for their efforts and initiative for a peace agreement. Throughout history USA has been known for efforts of diplomacy, here too we witness the very ideals and pinnacle of a beautiful moment to embrace peace!
Questions: Will an Afghanistan peace agreement affect USA relations with other foreign countries such as Iraq, or diplomatic efforts with Iran?
- Blackwill, D. R. (2019). Trump’s Foreign Policies Are Better Than They Seem. Council on Foreign Relations. 49-53.
- U.S Department of State. (2020, February 29th). Joint Statement on the Signing of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement. https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-the-signing-of-the-u-s-taliban-agreement-2/
- U.S Department of State. (2020, February 29th). Agreement for Bringing Peace To Afghanistan. https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Signed-Agreement-02292020.pdf
- U.S Department of State. (2020, March 5th). ICC Decision on Afghanistan. https://www.state.gov/icc-decision-on-afghanistan/
- The quote at the beginning of this blog post was originally quoted by Henry Alfred Kissinger, who was an American Diplomat / politician. He was also the Secretary of State under former President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford.
- This blog post was originally hand-written on March 16th and 17th, and updated on March 20th 2020.
- Image 1 – Credit
My thoughts to share with love & kindness! 🌹