On 29 February 2020, the United States and the Afghan Taliban signed an “historic” peace deal, paving the way for US and NATO forces to leave Afghanistan within 14 months, provided that the Taliban fulfil their obligations under the deal. This paper will examine the contents of the deal and the problems that it faces, including the areas on which it is silent, which may pose a challenge during the process of building peace and stability in Afghanistan.
In a remarkable turn of events, the two parties to Afghanistan's 19-year conflict, the United States (U.S.) and the Taliban, decided to sit at the same table for direct talks aimed at nailing down a "peace deal". This qualitative shift is partly necessitated by massive human and material costs incurred by the two parties since 2001 without either of them being able to resolve the conflict militarily. Nor did the political system that was built in Afghanistan after the removal of the Taliban regime succeed in proving political or economic or security efficiency, which kept the Taliban alive and kicking to this day.
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