The least known aspects of the 'Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan'—February 29, 2020
By Henry H. Bucher, Jr., Emeritus Faculty in Humanities, Austin College
Sep 2, 2021
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During the last days of Pompeo as President Trump’s Secretary of State,*he signed a “comprehensive peace agreement” in Doha, capitol of Qatar, between the USA and “the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban.” Part One of the agreement notes that “The United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners**…within fourteen months following announcement of this agreement…”

The four page agreement makes many good points, but there are two aspects that make it questionable and now irrelevant. The first is that the government of Afghanistan was not represented. After twenty years of US involvement in nation-building; restraining the Taliban from retaking the country they had once ruled ruthlessly; training an Afghan military; and all this in cooperation with our Coalition partners and allies.

The second aspect of this “Agreement” that is missing is that none of our NATO allies were at this “agreement” in Doha, Qatar. We know that the then President Trump thought he would win a second term; indeed, he still believes that he won the election. Yet, even if he had won, how legal would this agreement have been?

Given the absence of anyone representing the Afghan government, how is it surprising that the Afghan military would not stand up to the Taliban, once they heard of this agreement? President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan as the Taliban were taking over. He and so many others must have felt betrayed by the USA; and so did our NATO allies.

This is not the time to discuss why we invaded Afghanistan after 9/11/2001, but the coming 20th anniversary of the attack may cause President Biden to make a very hard choice. Several family members of the 9/11/01 attacks, along with survivors and first responders, are asking that the President not attend the planned memorial events unless he declassifies the documents that are believed to disclose the role of Saudi Arabia twenty years ago in the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City and on the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers challenged the hijackers. There were no survivors. 

*Mike Pompeo was the fourth and last Secretary of State to serve in Donald Trump’s administration.

**ten NATO allies were most involved