The official Agreement of the Taliban in the United States outlines a series of discussions that would continue into the future between the United States, the Taliban and the Afghan government. Yet ongoing violence, particularly against innocent civilian communities, largely denies the value of these discussions. Right now, the Taliban are attacking the Afghan government when they are not attacking the United States and our allies. Why would the United States commit to an agreement in which the Taliban could conclude that the United States and its coalition partners would be immune to attacks, but would the United States be cautious that the Taliban would attack our main ally in this war, the Afghan government? On his face, it would be difficult for the Afghan government to find a logical good reason to meet in the midst of the ongoing attacks. These Taliban activities are the true definition of bad faith behaviour and, with the departure of the United States, the Afghan government will have far less power and authority to bring the Taliban to justice and begin talks at a distant level. On March 27, 2020, the Afghan government announced the creation of a 21-member negotiating team for peace talks. However, on March 29, the Taliban rejected the team on the grounds that “we will only be sitting in talks with a negotiating team that is consistent with our agreements and built up according to established principles.” [122] On 31 March 2020, a three-member Taliban delegation arrived in Kabul to discuss the release of the prisoners. [123] They are the first Taliban representatives to visit Kabul since 2001. [123] The Afghan government had also agreed to conduct the talks at Bagram prison. [123] However, on the same day, the Afghan government announced that the Taliban`s refusal to accept a new ceasefire and the Taliban delegation`s refusal to appear in prison on the scheduled date had both led to the postponement of the prisoner exchange. [125] [126] [127] After the arrival of the Taliban delegation, a senior Afghan government official told the Reuters news agency that “the release of the prisoners could take place in a few days, if all goes according to plan.” [124] In such an environment, the whole premise of internal peace talks is questioned and perhaps rendered useless. We have already seen this in Afghanistan and elsewhere: between obligations to limit or cease violence and the final implementation of agreements, violence can increase, as either party attempts to change the facts on the ground to gain a relative advantage over formal compliance. No one should be surprised that the Taliban are attacking Afghan government forces.

The agreement between the United States and the Taliban did not encourage them not to do so, so of course we are already bombing the Taliban in Helmand province.