One way to do this would be to prevent negotiating teams from agreeing on issues such as political power-sharing agreements (including national, provincial or regional), the Afghan constitution, the role of religion, women`s rights, persistent violence, the return of prisoners and upcoming elections. The February 2020 agreement between the United States and the Taliban did not address these issues in a serious way and potentially poses enormous challenges. While it is not clear who is talking for the Afghan government, it is also unclear who is talking about the Taliban. The Taliban are not a single unified organization, but consist of different commanders and militias throughout Afghanistan, many of whom have conflicting ideas about the war and now about the peace agreement. The Taliban leaders who negotiated the peace agreement came from the Taliban-led group, called Quetta Shura. This group is atonic Pakistan and is largely a political and economic organization. Quetta Shura controls the highly profitable opium and heroin trade that funds the Taliban`s military operations in Afghanistan. Quetta Shura is ruled by high-ranking Taliban, including Haibutullah Akhundzada, Mohammed Yaqub, Mohammed Omar and Abdul Ghani Baradar. In order to ensure efficiency and stability, any agreement on the structure of a post-peace government should highlight the role of state institutions established since 2001. And it must also reflect the underlying constellation of power in Afghanistan, which relies primarily on a consensus among elites than on the dominance of one group over the rest. Another possibility is that the Taliban may be the main cause of the break-in talks, either because Taliban leaders refuse to enter into negotiations or because they make unacceptable demands on the United States and the Afghan government. The Taliban have already questioned many issues, such as the legitimacy of the current Afghan government and the exchange of prisoners.
The Afghan government did not participate in the February 2020 agreement because the Taliban deemed the Ghani government illegitimate and refused to negotiate with its representatives. Taliban leaders also left talks with the Afghan government in April 2020 after a lack of agreement on prisoner exchanges. Another problem is that the recent Afghan presidential elections were contested and led to a divided and dysfunctional government in Kabul. As two opponents declare themselves the winners, no one is responsible in Kabul anymore. Since the next step in the peace agreement is to hold talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, a divided and broken government in Kabul complicates this next step. In their first public reaction to Democrat Joe Biden`s victory in the US presidential election, the Taliban said in a statement that the Doha agreement was “an excellent document to end the war and for a better future for both countries.” The statement on the group`s propaganda page was addressed to Biden and future U.S. governments that the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan would be in the interest of “our peoples and nations.” The group also expressed its commitment to the agreement.