In addition to the delay in intra-Afghan talks, there is a long-standing political crisis within the Afghan state. The domestic political discord between President Ghani and Prime Government Abdullah Abdullah over the controversial election results has revealed the divisive and confrontational nature of the Afghan government. Fearing the risk of peace negotiations failing, however, the United States has threatened to cut aid to Afghanistan by a billion and reduce any cooperation if the two sides do not agree to resolve their differences. Yielding to US pressure, both sides reported progress and eventually reached a power-sharing agreement that gives Abdullah the leading role in the peace process with the Taliban and the right to appoint half of the Afghan cabinet (The National, 2020). The agreement, officially entitled “Agreement for Peace in Afghanistan”, is just over 3 pages long and is drafted in three languages; Dari, Pashto and English. It consists of two parts; The Taliban agree that “Afghan soil is not being used against the security of the United States and its allies” and the United States accepts the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. The signing of the agreement continued with a 7-day “reduction in violence,” a term used instead of a “ceasefire,” a term the Taliban rejected, in part because a “ceasefire” suggested an end to hostilities to which the Taliban were unwilling to engage. Meier, L. (2020, March 9). U.S. peace talks are in doubt, as Afghan leaders are quarreling. The Washington Times.
www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/9/us-peace-talks-in-doubt-as-afghan-leaders-feud/ United Nations teams for analytical support and sanctions monitoring. (2020, May 27). Report on the Taliban and other individuals and entities associated with it, which pose a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan. United Nations Security Council. www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2020_415_e.pdf These tensions between Taliban leaders escalated on February 29, 2020, when political leaders called for a reduction in violence before the agreement was signed. Instead of observing the decrease in violence, many commanders continued to attack in the country. While these commanders may welcome the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, they are cautious to negotiate with a Kabul government they do not trust. In addition, despite the signing of the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban, Afghanistan has seen a flood of Taliban attacks.