Many critics have pointed out that conditionality does not go far enough. The written agreement does not require the Taliban to actually agree to a political agreement with the Afghan government or implement a ceasefire with the Afghan army before U.S. forces withdraw. The lack of conditionality appears to lie in verbal statements to the Taliban by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US leaders. It seems that he took too long to write this conditionality in the text itself. What are the conditions that have been adopted orally and that do not appear in writing? On the one hand, the US expects the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government in Innerafghanian negotiations and not simply with « other Afghan parties. » In addition, the United States wants to see progress towards a political solution beyond the start of inter-Afghan negotiations. In his oral statement at the signing, Pompeo said the Taliban must « stay the course and continue to work for negotiations with the Afghan government and other Afghan partners. » Pompeo and Khalilzad mostly stressed that violence is expected to remain low during the negotiations. You and others have established that if these expectations are not met, the deal and drawdown will be at risk. In Pompeo`s words at the signing: « The deal means nothing. if we do not intervene concretely on the commitments made and the commitments made. The problem is that verbal conditionality is ripe for mixed signals. In fact, the American public itself cannot be sure what these statements actually mean. Are these carefully worded red lines or diplomatic impulses that are not being implemented? Because the government was not prepared to spend the time necessary to introduce all its demands into the text, the Taliban could see everything that was voted verbally as a bluff. Or they are wrong about the United States.
position and not recognize that the drawdown is related to more than what is written in the text. This is apparently what happened in September 2019, when an earlier version of the agreement was to be signed, until the Taliban escalated the violence and President Trump opposed it. The president`s recent statements that the Taliban could « perhaps » invade the government and that « it`s only so long can you hold someone`s hand, » the Taliban`s perception of U.S. determination will tarnish further. For these reasons, U.S. leaders should expect the Taliban to test or fail to comply with U.S. conditions. « We owe gratitude to the sons and daughters of America who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan and to the thousands of people who have served over the past 19 years, » the general said.